(London: Printed for T. Longman, B. Law, F. & C. Rivington, R. Baldwin, G. & T. Wilkie, and J. Walker, 1797). 150 x 93 mm. (5 7/8 x 3 5/8"). viii, 123,  (ads) pp. 21st Edition.
Contemporary brown burlap, flat spine. With allegorical vignette on title page and 25 half-page woodcuts illustrating items from the vocabulary lists. Pastedowns with traces of book label removal. Spine slightly cocked, short split to cloth on rear joint, a little fraying at ends of spine, but the insubstantial binding surprisingly solid. Two small stains to each pastedown (where labels removed), title page lightly browned, leaves a shade less than bright (due to paper quality), other minor imperfections, but an excellent copy internally, clean and fresh with comfortable margins. All in all, remarkably well preserved.
First issued around 1711, this is the best-selling work of James Greenwood (1683?-1737), an influential grammarian and a proponent of women's education. Arranged into 33 chapters, the book divides vocabulary lists by topic, beginning with "things" and proceeding through minerals, plants, animals, humans, and diseases, to everyday items, affairs of church and state, the law, the military, and finally to the various parts of speech, from verbs to conjunctions. Widely used, the work was revised and reprinted until at least 1828. At about the time this work was originally issued, Greenwood had founded a school in Essex where he accepted girls as well as boys as pupils; he was later recruited to serve as assistant headmaster at St. Paul's School in London. This volume is of particular interest because of its rarely seen utilitarian period binding. We would have expected it to have been worn to shreds long ago, but, against the odds, it has withstood hard use by young pupils remarkably well, and it gives us a glimpse of an important element of the English schoolroom at the turn of the 19th century. (ST15599)