Vicksburg, MS: Vicksburg Printing and Publishing Company, 1885. First edition. Softcover. Small quarto. 28pp. Pink string-tied wrappers (front wrapper missing). Illustrated title-page. A short play written by German-born American Rabbi, educator, and author Herman Milton Bien (1831-1895), telling the story of the Maccabees (Maccabeans) and there struggle against oppression, as related to the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. The play was written for the purpose of being performed by students at Jewish Sabbath schools (religious schools) at the time. Of interesting note is a quote on p.19, taken directly from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's five-act verse tragedy "Judas Macabbeus" (1872). The verso of the title page contains a list of scenes, characters, stage directions and other necessary preparatory information needed to mount the play's production. The final two pages contain advertisements for the author's previous works, as well as the Bloch Publishing and Printing Company of Cincinnati, known for their publication of American Judaica during that time.
Front wrapper missing. Back wrappers with some chipping along the spine and a black stain. Title page with some closed tears and a chip in the upper left corner. Sporadic minor smudges or creases to pages throughout. Some pages loose, but all present. Wrappers in poor, interior in very good condition overall. Scarce. Protected by modern mylar. poor to vg. Item #47607
About the author:
Herman Milton Bien (1831-1895) was a German-born American Rabbi, educator, author, journalist and politician. He emigrated to the United States in 1854, and held a number of positions and jobs over the years. Starting in 1856 he served as co-editor of the "Voice of Israel", in San Francisco, the first Jewish newspaper in the Western United States. In 1863, while residing in Nevada he was elected to the Territorial Legislature. Starting in 1883, he served as Rabbi of the Reform Jewish congregation Anshei Chesed, in Vicksburg, Mississippi, until 1895. In the wake of loosing his position he committed suicide.