Tom Thumb's Play-Book; to Teach Children Their Letters, by a New and Pleasant Method
Alnwick: W. Davison, 22, Bondgate Street, no date, circa 1847. 16mo, measuring 5.5 x 3.5 inches: , 8-35, , pagination inclusive of wrappers. Original green pictorial wrappers, woodcuts and wood engravings throughout text. Publisher's advertisements printed on lower wrapper. Lightest shelfwear.
"New and Improved Edition" of this chapbook for young readers, following the first edition of 1824, with substantially different illustrations, including a striking image of Thomas Bewick's “Dalmation" on front wrapper. The book opens with a series of printed alphabets, followed by syllables, short words, and easy passages, many surprisingly punitive: “Sin is the way to the pit. / O let me not die in sin. / No one has joy in the pit. / So do as you are bid." The charm of the book lies in its mix of decorative woodcuts and wood engravings, a survey of popular images available to a provincial printer. Date based on the publisher's advertisements, which include the Northumberland Poll-Book for August 1847. See Thomas Hugo, The Bewick Collector, 458. A bright, near-fine copy of a scarce book.