The Sparrowgrass Papers

A bugle is a good thing to have in the country.

Here's a real treat: not as brilliantly hilarious as The Widow Bedott Papers, but pleasantly entertaining nonetheless. I first encountered Frederic S. Cozzens* in The Knickerbocker Gallery (therein spelled "Frederick"); his contribution—"Captain Belgrave"—also appears in this volume. The Sparrowgrass Papers, while written more than a century before Green Acres, readily invites comparison.

[Warning! Spoiler] However humorous it is as a whole, it does get somber and downright graphic in chapter 16, which describes the tragic death of a horse. You may want to skip that chapter if you're squeamish.

My transcription of the 1856 edition primarily came from this scan, which was mostly quite clear and the OCR mostly clean. A few obliterated words were checked against this scan. While I have not intentionally added or omitted a single word in the body of work itself, I have omitted references to page numbers in the table of contents, as well as the superfluous illustrations and their captions.

So here it is: the master HTML version, the home-brew Kindle version, and the actual Amazon publication.

As Mr. Sparrowgrass says: "let us have some nuts and apples, and a pitcher of Binghamton cider; we have a good cheerful fire to-night, and why should we not enjoy it?"

June 22, 2020


*Note that the article in Wikipedia is incorrect: only the final chapter of The Sparrowgrass Papers was published in The Knickerbocker; otherwise, it was published serially in Putnam's Monthly Magazine.

ffred's nearly-forgotten treasures