"A Pretty New Year's Gift..."

collections up close Blog

Collecting pieces of Minnesota's past for the future


The Minnesota Historical Society preserves and makes available a wide range of materials chronicling Minnesota's history and culture. The goals of the Collections Department are to collect and preserve; provide access and interpretation; and engage in education and outreach. This blog is a tool to share these stories and let people know what is happening in the department.

All MNHS Blogs

Subscribe by e-mail:

 Subscribe in a reader

"A Pretty New Year's Gift..."

By: Lori Williamson | Item of the Day | December 31, 2021

This fascinating, tiny book is titled: “A pretty New-Year's gift; or, Entertaining histories : for the amusement and instruction of young ladies and gentlemen, in winter evenings.” The author is “Solomon Sobersides,” clearly an instructional nom de plume. 

Originally published as “Christmas tales for the amusement and instruction of young ladies and gentlemen” in Glasgow in 1782, this second edition seen here was published in Worchester, MA in 1796. The idea behind the book was a collection of stories to be given as a gift to entertain young people and keep them out of trouble during the long winter nights.