The Bodley Books Horace Scudder

Horace Scudder (1838-1902) was a teacher and author. He wrote a number of children's books and for a time was the editor of the Atlantic Monthly as well as the Riverside Magazine for Young People.

The eight books which chronicle the adventures of the extended Bodley family are divided into two chronologically based series. The five title first series takes place between 1848 and 1852. The Bodley family consists of Mr. and Mrs. Bodley and their three children: Nathan, Phillippa, and Lucy. In the earlier series other characters also are significant: Ned Adams, a cousin, hired man Martin and his brother Hen.

The stories include journeys to Cape Cod, Roxbury and Boston, Gloucester, Hartford, and New York City. The final book, Mr. Bodley Abroad includes Mr. Bodley's letters from and about Europe. It also includes the family's more local Boston area adventures.

First Series (copyright date noted after the title) First Edition Publisher
1. Doings of the Bodley Family in Town and Country-- 1875 Hurd and Houghton
2. The Bodley's Telling Stories-- 1877 Hurd and Houghton
3. The Bodleys on Wheels--1878 Houghton, Osgood and Company
4. The Bodleys Afoot--1879 Houghton, Osgood and Company
5. Mr. Bodley Abroad--1880 Houghton, Miflin and Company

These books were published by three different iterations of the same basic company (Hurd and Houghton was succeeded by Houghton, Osgood and Company, which was succeeded by Houghton, Miflin and Company). All of the books have decorated end papers and are 8.25 x 7. Each volume has numerous line drawn black and white etchings; some related to the content of the book and others more generic and not specifically drawn for the book.

Hurd and Houghton: published books #1,2. (1875-1877) This publisher printed #1 in two formats and #2 in the familiar (different for each book) illuminated board covers.

The first format (edition) of Book #1 has an appliqué encompassing the entire front and back covers. It also has different endpapers than they later formats. 1876 is noted on the title page.


The later Hurd and Houghton (second) edition of "in Town and Country" is an 1877 published book.



Volume 2 First edition
Note that the publisher's logo on the front cover is different from that on the later Houghton, Osgood cover.

Houghton, Osgood and Co. published volumes #1-4. (1878-1880) All of these titles had illuminated board covers. The first two books have the same cover as the previously published Hurd and Houghton books except on Book #2 the front cover's publisher's logo is different.

Houghton, Osgood and Company published the first editions of Books #3 and 4. (On Wheels, Afoot)

Note that this book still has the Hurd and Houghton name on the spine but has the new publisher logo on the front cover.

The covers of the 1879 and 1880 Bodleys on Wheels are identical. The 1879 title page imprint is the first edition.


The Bodley's Afoot with the 1880 imprint date is the first edition.

Here is an ad from the first edition of The Bodleys on Wheels.

Houghton, Mifflin and Co. published all five titles in the same illuminated board cover format as the previous publishers. The covers for books #1-4 are the same as the previously published titles. These books cost 1.50. This publisher printed the first edition of Mr. Bodley Abroad with the 1881 title page imprint (see below).

After the publication of the three book second series (1882-1884), the volumes were sold in sets of 5 and 3 books. By 1893 the publisher's catalogue had moved Mr. Bodley Abroad into the second series such that each series had four titles which were sold in sets for $6.00.

The Second Series
The three book second series contains adventures in the 1880-1882 era. These volumes are about the adventures of the Bodley Grandchildren. They roam through England, Italy, Holland and Scandinavia. The first edition of the three titles were published by Houghton, Miflin and Company.

6. The Bodley Grandchildren & Their Journey in Holland 1882
7. The English Bodley Family 1883
8. The Viking Bodleys 1884

#6. The copyright and the title page imprint is 1882 for this first edition.


#7. I believe the first edition noted 1884 on the title page.


#8. I believe the first edition noted 1885 on the title page.

By 1893 Houghton Mifflin was printing the Bodley Books Complete in a new format. Each of these four square 8 vo. volumes included two Bodley Books. Volume 1- Titles 1 and 2, Volume 2- Titles 3 and 4, Volume 3- Titles 5 and 6 and Volume #4 included titles 7 and 8. They have flowered cloth and initially were sold for $1.50 each. Later the price was raised. They are quite scarce.

A later Houghton Mifflin format of the series has been seen. The copyright on these books is 1903. Multiple front cover appliqués have been noted. Examples of this format are shown below.


Here are the plot summaries of the eight books.