1795 NEW YORK EDITION OF DANIEL DEFOE’S POPULAR AND CONTROVERSIAL RELIGIOUS GUIDE TO FAMILY LIFE DIRECTED AT PARENTS, CHILDREN, MASTERS, SERVANTS, HUSBANDS AND WIVES
[DEFOE, Daniel]. The Family Instructor In Three Parts Relating: I. Parents and Children. II Masters and Servants. III Husbands and Wives. An American Edition. New York: Evert Duyckink, 1795. Octavo, contemporary full tree calf, red morocco spine label. $650.
1795 American edition of Defoe’s guide to incorporating religion into the domestic sphere, written from a Protestant dissenter perspective (i.e. a Christian who rejected the Church of England).
First published in 1715, Defoe's anonymous treatise on family life was taken out of his hands during a bout of illness and published with a damning prefatory letter by the Rev. S. Wright. The "book dealt with a highly topical issue. In June 1714, the British Parliament had voted the Schism Act, which forbade Protestant Dissenters from being school-teachers and, therefore, from giving religious instruction in keeping with their beliefs in their schools. Defoe denounced this measure in several pamphlets, and tried to combat its effects through the publication of The Family Instructor. Descended from devotional literature, this work was intended to help Nonconformist parents to hand down to their children the main principles of their faith, which would no longer be taught in schools" (Dechamps, LISA). The second edition was printed by Defoe himself, with his own (still unsigned) introduction to the work. "The book became one of the most popular moral treatises of the century" (Moore 309). Evans 28550. Owner signatures (one to title page).
Closed tear to leaf 74-5, a bit of foxing, wear to calf. An extremely good copy.