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Sometimes I stumble onto one story while researching another. An advertisement caught my eye a few years ago while I was reading an article in an 1870s magazine. I filed it away, forgot about it, then came across it again a couple of months ago. Subsequent research led me to buy two first-edition books. The first is an 1884 novel about the country’s burgeoning economy. The second, published the following year in 1885, is a satirical play about New York City’s Bourgeoisie. The first was a bestseller. The second was not only a flop, but a nineteenth century public relations disaster. Today we’re going back 135 years to tell the story of these two books. It’s a story that I call, The Buntling Ball Prize.


The Buntling Ball Prize


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