(Derby, England: William Bemrose and Co., ca. 1830). 140 x 88 mm. (5 1/2 x 3 3/8"). 34 pp. (inclusive of frontispiece leaf pasted down to front wrapper). FIRST EDITION.
ORIGINAL BLUE PRINTED WRAPPERS. With printer's device on title and upper wrapper and 22 woodcut illustrations (including "The Vain Goose" on the lower wrapper). Rear pastedown with booklabel of "AHA" (Albert A. Howard). Osborne Collection, p. 124. Upper wrapper with a hint of soiling and a faint fold at one corner, occasional light offsetting internally, but AN UNSURPASSABLE COPY of a fragile item, most copies of which were no doubt destroyed by their intended audience.
This is an incredibly well-preserved copy of a charming early reader that begins with an alphabet, progresses to syllables, words of two, three, or four letters, then to brief paragraphs, mostly about animals, each accompanied by an illustration, and ends with a prayer and a hymn for morning and evening. Words of more than one syllable have these separated by hyphens to help new readers "sound them out." Printer William Bemrose (1792-1875) set up his press in Derby in 1826-27, and used the name of his young son, Henry Howe (b.1827), in the title of this work. There is something rather touching in the thought of a printer producing a first reader for his eldest child. Former owner Albert A. Howard (d. 2017) was a bibliophile and rare book cataloguer with a special interest in fine press books, finely illustrated books, children’s books, and chapbooks. This is a rare item: OCLC and COPAC locate just four copies, three in North America, while RBH and ABPC find none at auction in at least the past 40 years. (ST15184)
Add to Cart Price: $950.00
PJP Catalog: RBMS19.018