Family Flight Series by Rev. E. E. Hale and Miss Susan Hale

The Family Flight Series was an effort by the D. Lothrop and Co. publishing house to compete with the Zig Zag Series by Hezekiah Butterworth which was published by Estes and Lauriat and the Boy Travelers by Thomas Knox which was published by Harper and Brothers. Lothrop's advertisements stated: "The narrative is told succinctly and with animation..". In a similar fashion to other travelogue books of the era, there are numerous sketches and woodcuts throughout the books. They are taken from many different sources and are mostly unattributed.

These books follow the adventures of the Horner Family. The locales can easily be gleaned from the title except for " Around Home" which chronicles adventures in the northeastern corridor of the United States. The Horner children age during their adventures and learn about themselves as well as about their environs.

The authors of these titles are the Rev. Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909) and his sister Susan Hale (1833-1910).

Edward was a writer and Unitarian minister. The author of numerous books, he is most well known for "The Man Without a Country".

Susan was a teacher. She taught until she was close to thirty. Thereafter she traveled throughout the world for a period of time. She took up painting as an avocation. In the 1870's she took lessons in Europe. In her 40's she lectured extensively to various women's groups. These lectures (readings) were published in 1898 in the book "Men and Manners of the Eighteenth Century". Throughout the years after her return from European travels, she had an art studio in Boston and taught from that location. ("American Women Writers", Lisa Mainiero, Frederick Ungar Publishing Company, 1980.) A much more complete biography can be found at

The books were initially published by D. Lothrop and Company. Later editions were published by D. Lothrop Co., Lothrop Publishing Company and finally Lothrop Lee and Shepard.

The titles:
1. A Family Flight Through France, Germany, Norway and Switzerland 1881 by the Hales
2. A Family Flight over Egypt and Syria 1882 by the Hales
3. A Family Flight Through Spain 1883 -written by Susan Hale alone
4. A Family Flight Around Home 1884 (an 1885 copyright has also been seen) by the Hales
5. A Family Flight Through Mexico 1886 by the Hales

The earliest editions published by D. Lothrop and Company (until 1887) were oversized books which came in three formats. An illuminated board cover book was described as having "double lithograph covers" and was priced at $2.00. There was also an elegant cloth binding with colors and gold gilt pictures (different for each book). This book cost $2.50.

Here is an early ad for the first book in the series. Note that three formats are listed. The third format is a deluxe book priced at $3.00. The latter book is cloth with tinted edges.

The clothbound formats of D. Lothrop and Company (until 1887), D. Lothop Company (1887-1895) and the early books of the Lothrop Publishing Company (1896-1897) were the same. D. Lothrop Company books were priced at $2.25 and the Lothrop Publishing Company cloth books were $1.50.

Different cover colors of this format have been seen.


The two books just below have been seen with different color cloth covers.


Thus far two different lithographed board cover formats have been seen. A Family Flight over Egypt and Syria and a Family Flight through France, Germany, Norway and Switzerland are shown below with a pictorial book appropriate board covers. These books are presumed to have been published earlier than the other board cover format because one of these books (Egypt and Syria) notes the 32 Franklin Street address on the title page. The other illuminated board cover books (below) have the "Franklin and Hawley" address on the title page which is a later address notation. It is unknown whether all five titles were published with book specific pictorial illustrated board covers. This is clearly the rarest format of this series.


The later illuminated board cover format published by D. Lothrop and Company appears to be common to all five titles. It is pictured below.

The Lothrop Publishing Company initially published the cloth books in the same format as the previous clothbound iterations. Between 1898 and 1901 the newly named illuminated board cover books were also published. These books generally include about the first 250 pages of the 400+ pages of the original text. There is a new pictorial color frontispiece in each book. The books cost $1.50 each.

None of these titles are listed in any Lothrop Publishing Company catalogue.

These titles were "Young Americans…". The books have new copyrights

Young Americans Abroad 1898( France, Germany Norway..)
Young Americans in Spain 1899
Young Americans in the Orient 1900 (Egypt and Syria)
Young Americans Around Home 1901
(I have not seen the Young Americans in Mexico.)


A non-Lothrop publication of one of these books was done by the Boston Chautauqua Press in 1885. That title is "A Family Flight Through France and Germany". Like the later Young American books it is abridged.

Chautauqua was founded in 1874 with the idea of promoting more effective Sunday Schools. In 1888 a four year reading plan was introduced. The required books were recommended by an elected council of six. It was abbreviated CLSC- Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle. Completion of the reading program got the achiever a diploma at a graduation ceremony. (It is unclear to me whether you had to submit any cereal box tops in addition)

Apparently getting books to the clamoring public was a difficult task. Thus, the Chautauqua Press was organized. It seems that Lothrop was one of the printers for the Chautauqua Press. The abbreviation of C.Y.F.R.U. was on the imprint. It stood for Chautauqua Young Folks' Reading Union.

Beginning in 1905 Lothrop, Lee and Shepard published an edition in cloth similar to the original books. The difference is that the gold gilt is replaced by colors. This publisher printed no board cover books.