Model Moral “LIVES” for“Little Masters & Misses”
[Johnson, Richard]. The juvenile biographer; containing the lives of little masters and misses, including a variety of good and bad characters. Worcester: Printed by Isaiah Thomas, & sold at his book store, sold also by E. Battelle, Boston, 1787. 16mo (9.5 cm, 3.75"). Frontis.[ii], t-p.[iii], [iv], v–viii, , 10–119, [120 (blank)], [121–24 (adv.)], [2 (blank)] pp. (lacks initial blank f.); illus.
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First American edition. In addition to the fictitious biographies (e.g., Miss Betsey Allgood, Master Billy Bad-enough, Miss Nancy Careful, Master Billy Bashful) written to teach morals and conduct, this work contains “Some account of the little author, written by himself” and a portrait of that same “author” on front pastedown. In the text are20 woodcuts, as well as tailpieces and ornamental rules.
M.J.P. Weedon is the source for the attribution of authorship to Johnson (“Richard Johnson and the successors to John Newbery,” The Library, 5th series, 4 (1949): 49). Interestingly, Welch says that copies in the binding noted below are “part of a large publisher’s remainder.”
Provenance: From the children's book collection of Albert A. Howard, small booklabel (“AHA”) at rear.
ESTC W18139; Evans 20440; Welch 680.1; Rosenbach, Children's, 119; Hamilton, American Book Illustrators, 114. In pasteboards covered with “Dutch” gilt paper; housed in a corset within an open-back full red calf slipcase A remarkably crisp and clean copy. (38528)
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