[FINLEY,MARTHA]. ELSIE DINSMORE by Martha Farquharson. NY: M.W. Dodd 1867. 12mo (4 5/8 x 6 7/8"), 288p., light purple embossed cloth, gilt decorative spine, previous owner's attractive gilt and leather book plate, slight soil on 1 page, a Fine copy in a custom leather backed box. 1st edition of the first book about Elsie Dinsmore whose series eventually ran up to 28 volumes. Despite some religious overtones and suggestions about the father's impropiety, the Elsie Dinsmore series became immensely popular. It is suggested that Elsie's longevity and success inspired Edward Stratemeyer to create his long living series including Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and many others. In selecting this title for Peter Parley to Penrod, a bibliography of the best children's books, the bibliographer Jacob Blanck notes that he had seen only 2 copies of the first edition (p.26). Today it is rare, and outstanding copies like this can't be found.