THE “FIRST REAL EFFORT TO PROVIDE CHILDREN WITH READING-MATTER”: ADMIRABLE CURIOSITIES, RARITIES AND WONDERS IN ENGLAND, 1710
[CROUCH, Nathaniel]. Admirable Curiosities, Rarities and Wonders in England, Scotland and Ireland. London: Nath. Crouch, 1710. 12mo, 19th-century three-quarter polished brown calf gilt, raised bands. $1500.
Later edition of this collection of British historical narratives for children, with colored engraved title page containing scenes from the lives of King Canntus and King Henry and seven charming in-text woodcuts, handsomely bound.
Author and publisher, Nathaniel Crouch (who used the pseudonyms R.B., Richard Burton, and Robert Burton) writes of "remarkable places, persons and accidents, as I find them in Mr. Fox, Dr. Heylin, Dr. Fuller, Sir R. Baker, Mr. Speed, Mr. Clark, and other authors of credit." "Crouch seems to mark the first real effort to provide children with reading-matter… to which they would look forward with pleasure and excitement in their leisure time" (Muir, 35). First published in 1682, this collection of British historical events is designed to remind children that "there may be as strange things at home, as in other places." With 12 pages of advertisements at rear. Engraved title page mounted. See Osborne Collection I:59. Slight evidence of bookplate removal.
Occasional chipping to fore-edge, interior generally clean (title page lightly soiled). A highly desirable copy of a seminal children's book.