The Young Lady’s Oracle: A Fireside Amusement.

New York: Published by James Miller, 1864. A later edition. Square small 8vo, original gilt pictorial blue cloth, xvi, 80 pages, plus inserted numbered card printed in red ink on card stock. Cloth a bit soiled, corners a bit rubbed; some bumping at the head and foot of the spine, with a little darkening of the spine; a very good copy, with the card intact. Item #19390

Shall I write to him? Am I not taking an imprudent step? Oracle! Am I pretty? A fortune-telling game for young women; per the prefatory “How to Consult the Oracle,” the book notes, “The mode of consulting the oracle is extremely simple. The card, which will be found at the end of the volume, having been cut into separate pieces, each containing a single number (Nos. 3 to 18), the pieces are to be deposited in a reticule or other convenient receptacle, so that the drawer may choose at random without being able to see the number chosen. The person who wishes to consult the oracle having selected the question (pp. vii-xii) to which she wishes a reply, then withdraws one of the cards from the reticule, which gives the answer to her question.” Apparently first published in London in 1850, with a Boston edition published in 1859 and a New York Miller edition in 1863 as well as this 1864 printing. (None of the American editions is particularly common, known in three locations at the most for the 1859 version.).

Price: $100.00