London: Printed for Harvey & Darton, 55 Gracechurch-Street; and Wm. Darton, 58, Holborn Hill, 1820. Card Covers. Early printing, in original wrappers, of an uncommon Harvey and Darton juvenile book. 12mo (157 x 100mm): pp, with title-page vignette and 21 half-page and 3 full-page wood engravings (two partially hand-colored). Original red card covers printed in black, upper cover with title within decorative border, lower cover with publisher's advertisement; string-bound, as issued. Covers worn and rubbed with some loss of legibility, V-shaped tear to upper cover expertly repaired, early ink gift inscription to upper cover verso. Contents generally clean, large tear to fourth from final leaf skillfully mended without loss. Osborne II, pp. 703-04. Welch (American Children's Books) 264. Dartons G226(8); Oppenheimer 2087 (1805 edition). National Book League 525 (1805 edition). Very Good. Item #BB1979
Fanciful anecdotes, mainly about animals (including one about a pig taught to read and spell), originally published in 1798 with four illustrations. "William Darton's influence on the flourishing children's book trade of the early nineteenth century stretched across generations. Between 1795 and 1806, three sons were apprenticed to him. Although it is seldom possible to distinguish the work of individual apprentices in looking at Darton imprints of this early period, a viewer should think of a workshop in which the father and a number of apprentices worked together, including at different times William the younger, Thomas, and Samuel Darton; some publications may include work by any or all of them." (Children's books published by William Darton and his sons : a catalogue of an exhibition at the Lilly Library, Indiana University, April-June, 1992) N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable mylar sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).