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LITTLE TRUTHS, for the instruction of children. Volumes I and II.
London, Darton and Harvey, Gracechurch Street,1807.. 2 volumes, complete set, bound in 1, early reprint 1807, 12mo, 160 x 100 mm, 6¼ x 3¾ inches, pages: 48; 48, LACKING 1 LEAF FROM VOLUME II, PAGES 19/20. Title page vignette to Volume I shows 2 children helping a ragged old man, charming title vignette in Volume II shows little boy seated on barrel reading to a fisherman mending his nets, 18 further illustrations in Volume I and 12 of 13 in Volume II, probably engraved by William Darton, each just under half page. These show: farming, animals, owls, birds, sheep shearing, a little boy playing with fire, a pelican feeding its young, Sir Walter Raleigh smoking and being doused with water by his servant, a rattlesnake after a hare, children inspecting ants, a shipwreck, labourers working in the fields etc. Topics covered include: farming, brewing, manufacture of paper and cloth, the risks of playing with fire, the dangers of tobacco particularly for the young, natives of South Sea Islands and skin colour, the evils of importing slaves in ships to the Caribbean, their treatment on the plantations and the recent abolition of the practice by the English, the wickedness of gypsies, their origin and tricks, snakes, ants, the sea, ships and shipwrecks, eagles. Nicely rebound in 1 volume, modern half black morocco over marbled boards, gilt dividing lines, gilt lettered spine, raised bands with gilt rules and gilt leaf motif between, marbled endpapers. Neat name dated 1814 at top of first title page, pale browning opposite some engravings, small piece missing from top corner of engraving on page 3, Volume II, just touching image, occasional light browning to margins. A very good copy, lacking 1 leaf as noted. Quite scarce, Volume I first published in 1787 under the title "Little Truths better than great fables". Volume II which was first published in 1788 was expanded in 1800 to include references in the slavery section to the poetry of Phyllis Wheatley and the letters of Ignatius Sancho, probably the earliest mention of these black writers in a children's book. The Dartons, page 64, G224 (8); Osborne Volume II page 703 (1802); Oppenheimer catalogue No.1611 (edition of 1818, Volume I only); National Book League No.535 (edition of 1816, Volume I only). MORE IMAGES ATTACHED TO THIS LISTING, ALL ZOOMABLE, FURTHER IMAGES ON REQUEST. POSTAGE AT COST.
      [Bookseller: Roger Middleton]
Last Found On: 2017-06-09           Check availability:      Biblio    

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