CHILDREN’S BOOKS IN THE 19TH CENTURY
Katie the Orphan Girl… she gets
caught stealing apples….
When children of the nineteenth century bent over their books, they learned a lot: The world is a tough place, life is hard, and you may die young.
Those poor kids didn’t have television, or electronic games, but perhaps the average young person knew much more about the world than children do today.
As they read by the flickering light of a candle, little American kids learned about Queen
Victoria’s grandchildren, about William
Tell and revolution in Switzerland,
about missionaries in Burmah, Hindustan, the Sandwich Islands and … They
learned about Indians on the plains in the West, about sailing to distant
lands, about pirates and wars, the heroes of the Crimean War, about life in Siam Scotland, and Germany,
in the salt mines of Poland,
and on ice floes in the Arctic.
They absorbed a whole load of moral lessons and religion. They read their share of stories about poor little waifs whose parents had died, about mean men and women who mistreated children horribly. There was lots of sadness, and death for kids to absorb.
Life was hard for many, and these books taught children that lesson without any sugar coating.
In the North, where there were no slaves, they learned about the horrors of slavery, and in the South, where slavery existed, they read amiable stories about life among the slaves.
These little books often passed along prejudices about people of other lands, other religions and other races. They ridiculed Chinese people, Blacks, Germans, Irish, Jews and Catholics.
I wonder if our efforts today to shield children from all the troubles in the world, and to spare them those adult concepts of justice, morality, and prejudice, are the best thing for them?
Here are some children’s books published between 1823 and 1881, offered by The Personal Navigator:
Queen Victoria’s Grandchildren
Child's Own Magazine for 1865, The 1865
London, England: Sunday School Union, 56, Old Bailey,
E.C. Frontispiece picture of The Queen's (Queen Victoria’s) Grandchildren,
copied from Oxford Photographic Gallery taken at in 1863. Followed by lead article, “The Queen's
Grandchildren”, who are now the four children of the Princess Royal.
Identified in photo are Prince Frederick
William, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Henry. Articles: "The
Voyage of the Pigs"; "Broken Cisterns"; "Little-But-Bitter" ; "What
Can I Do?" by Ancient Simeon; "Paul and his Donkey"
by Cousin William; "Loved or Feared", a fable, by Rev. Paxton
Hood; "Smyrna"; "The Truants" by Uncle Joe; “Daniel
in the Lions’ Den; More stories and
illustrations, all with a moral lesson and religious teaching for youngsters.
236 pp. 9 x 14.5 cm. Maroon cloth on board, blindstamped with gilt decoration,
gilt-edged pages, slight wear on edges. Inscription on front endpapers: "Presented
to Sarah Jane Warburton by her sister Alice April 1866" and "Mary
Hannah Geening, June 1, 1868". Very
good. (7353) $59.00. Children's Windsor
Frontispiece and Title Page, The Eskdale Herd-Boy
Eskdale Herd-Boy, The; A Scottish Tale, for the Instruction and Amusement of Young Persons by Lady Isabella Stoddart, (Mrs. Martha Blackford) 1850
Griffith & Farran. This book was first published in 1819. Author intends to
teach young readers the value of integrity, honesty, obedience, gratitude and
control of one's temper. This edition is first to identify author by her real
name (Stoddart), as well as her pen-name. 140 pp. 11 x 14 cm. Red cloth on
board with gilt lettering; frontispiece engraving, very good. (7198) $23.00.
Friendless, by a Friend to Youth "God helps those who help themselves." by Anon. 1846
: C.L. Stickney. "Friendless"
is the name given by the Sanctus family to a baby left at their front door
in a box. Morality tale for children. Book belonged to Library of Rev. Eli
Ballou, a prominent Vermont Clergyman. 208 pp. 9 x 15 cm. Blindstamped cloth on
board with gilt lettering. Book has been subjected to moist conditions and has
some dampstaining. Good. (1754) $24.00. Children's/Religious New York, NY
Georgy Lee; or the Boy Who Became a Great Artist: and The Shadow in the House, First Edition. By Mrs. O.A.S. Beale, Illustrated. 1859
: Published by Carlton &
Porter. Georgy in Trouble; Aunt Amy;
Georgy's Great Sorrow; Georgy's Dark Days; Georgy and His New Friends. 140
pp. + adv. 10 x 15 cm. Blindstamped black cloth on board, spine torn. Pencil
notes on ffep. On end free paper penned notations from S.S. library, Walton.
Fair. (7788) $22.00. Children's New York,
Helen in Switzerland, a Tale for Young People, by Bethell, The Hon. Augusta (Hon. Mrs. Adamson Parker) with illustrations by E. Whymper ca. 1881 London, England. Griffith and Farran. Helen Lancaster is a girl from
Scotland, now with
her injured father in Basel, Switzerland on the banks of the Rhine. Her mother is dead. She's here to recover from a case of measles.
Young readers learn about ,
revolution, William Tell, Childe Harold.
192 pp.+ 16 pp. Publisher’s advertisements. 10 x 16 cm. Blindstamped
brown cloth on board with gilt title, edges worn. Inscription on front free
endpaper: "Georgie Brown, Xmas 1882". Very good. (3608)
$30.00. Children's Switzerland
Little Jane: or, the Young Cottager, and other stories; Authentic Narratives by
Richmond, Rev. Legh
1855 : Carlton & Phillips. Morality tales.
Young cottager. The Negro Servant. 176 pp. + adv. 10 x 15 cm. Brown cloth on
board, faded, worn with gilt title on spine. On front pastedown is bookplate
from Library of the Methodist Episcopal Sunday School, Chesterfield Fact'y
Vill. Fair. (8048) $22.00. Children's New York, NY
Lucy Wheaton; or, The Little Missionary by Ann R. Wells, Second Edition. 1856
Society. Children's Religious book.
Frontispiece engraving shows line
of girls with baskets, visiting an old woman.
Lucy receives a bright new 1828 quarter, and she learns about missionary
work, and gathering money to help the poor heathen children. 108 pp. 10 x 15 cm. Brown buckram cloth on
board with blindstamped design and gilt design on spine. A dozen pages have
slight dogears. Inscription on ffep: "Carrie Smith, A Christmas Gift,
From your Friend and Teacher, Dec. 25, 1861." Very good. (2772)
$24.00. Children's/Religious Massachusetts
Marco Paul's Travel and Adventures in the Pursuit of Knowledge; City of Boston, Third Edition by Abbott, Jacob 1844
Boston, MA: Benjamin B. Mussey & Co. Young Marco heads
for Boston from New York,
taking the steamer to Stonington, CT and then the cars to . Interesting, humorous and very
educational tale of young Marco's visit to Boston ; The State House. The Common. Boston .
144 pp. 10 x 15 cm. (6433) $33.00.
Children's/Travel Long Wharf
Martha’s Mother has just died
Martha's Home and How the sunshine Came Into it by F.M.S., Author of "Hope On; or The House that Jack Built" ca. 1866
: William Wood & Co. Martha is "situated"
as a cleaning-girl in the home of a wealthy family when she receives news that
her mother is dying. She returns to her sad, dirty home, her mother dies, and
she is left to care for her father and the children, and all is grim, until
Mrs. Burke arrives. When Martha learns
to pray, things get better. 94 pp. 10.5
x 15 cm. Blue cloth on board, blindstamped design and gilt title on spine, some
water stain throughout, poor. (7798) $22.00. Children's/Religious New York, NY
Old Sea Captain, The by Old Humphrey 1845
Robert Carter, New York, NY 58 Canal Street
Book for boys that exposes them to the Old Sea Captain. Filled with naval and
marine terminology, tales of foreign shores, shipwrecks and adventure at sea.
252 pp. 10 x 16 cm. Dark cloth on board, gilt design on spine, front cover
blind stamped with design. Corners bumped, heel and toe of spine worn off.
Pages foxed, gift inscr. On ffep. Good. (3322) $28.80. Nautical/Children.
Old Times, with Other Familiar Sketches in Prose and Verse: For Young People by M.H. and H.H. (Attributed to Helen Hunt
). 1846 Jackson : Daniel Bixby. Stories
originally written for entertainment of the children round author's own
fireside. Describes dressing up in Revolutionary period clothing with brocade
dress as rich as a flower garden, high-heeled shoes with paste buckles, open
dress with yellow satin quilted petticoat, ruffle cuffs and leather mount fan. "Carrier's
New-Year's Address" includes hailing the Temperance cause and feeling
a growing interest in the Anti-slavery cause. 128 pp. 12 x 14.7 cm. Cloth on
board with blindstamped design and gilt title. Very worn, spine faded with small
holes. Inside front hinge cracked. Text block lightly soiled. Fair. (8010) $24.00. Children's/History Lowell,
Our Katie, The Grateful Orphan
Our Katie; or, The Grateful Orphan, A Story for Children , with three illustrations by Myers, Sarah A. 1859
: Carlton & Porter,
Sunday-School Union. Author writes of her childhood and poor Katie, whose
mother died, then her father. Author's family took in Katie…Katie in
Disgrace….Katie's Reward. Morality tale.
90 pp. 10 x 15.2 cm. Dark cloth
on board with blindstamped design and gilt lettering on spine. On front free
endpaper is "No. 41 New York,
NY Facty S.S. Jan. 1868" 2
cm piece missing from rear spine. Good. (8196) $40.00. Children's Chesterfield
Philip Randolph: A Tale of
Virginia by Gertrude, Mary 1850 :
D. Appleton & Co. In her 1844 Preface, Author Mary Gertrude writes that
this tale is intended to convey a moral to the youthful reader; in Philip is
shown self-denial and moral courage. Life amongst the Indians in colonial New York, NY . 177 pp + adv.
10.5 x 15.4 cm. Brown cloth on board with blindstamped design and gilt
title, cover very good, with tape library marker on spine and bookplate on
front pastedown from Universalist Sabbath School Library, Virginia
Also on front free endpaper, handwritten in 1850 style, "Sippican S.S.
Library No. 98". Good. (8014)
$30.00. Children's/Morality Marion, Mass.
Pickles: A Funny Little Couple, by Yotty Osborn, with 21 illustrations by T. Pym ca. 1879
Robert Carter & Bros. 168 pp. 14 x 19 cm. Johnnie and Bennie are two
six-year old boy twins. This is a story of their adventures. Decorated green
cloth on board, cover somewhat rippled in places, edges worn. Inscription on
front pastedown: "Walter Jones, New York, NY 's S.S., Christmas 1879." Very good.
(3787) $20.00. Children's St.
Rosanna; or Scenes in
by the Author of "Three Experiments in Living", etc. First Edition by Hannah Farnham Sawyer Lee, 1839 Boston :
John Owen. Author Hannah Farnham Sawyer Lee (1780-1865) wrote her first book at
age 52, and obtained a fine reputation as a writer of books to guide children
morally. In this book, Rosanna McCarty
is a young Irish immigrant woman in Cambridge, MA ,
and she fits the stereotype of the time:
Poor, Catholic, and intemperate.
Lee's use of Irish accent and her description of life among these poor
folks is colorful and sometimes funny.
This book has been reproduced very frequently, but first edition copies
are quite scarce. 134 pp. 11 x 17 cm. Brown cloth on board with blindstamped
design and gilt title, cover very good, text block soiled at endpapers and
foxed. Owner's name "Elizabeth
Pettee" written in pencil on front free endpaper. Good. (7997) $75.00. Children's/Religious Boston
Scenes of Wealth, or views & Illustrations of trades manufactures, produce & commerce for the amusement and instruction of tarry at home travellers with copper-plate engravings, by Rev. Isaac Taylor, 1826.
Oliver D. Cooke & Co. For children, takes them all over Hartford, CT England, Wales,
Scotland and Ireland to show how goods are made, and how 's
19th century economy works. Fascinating glimpses into life in this era. Straw
work at Dunstable, cable making at Deptford, lace making at Buckingham, malt
for beer at Reading, mineral waters at
Cheltenham, china at Worcester, pins at Gloucester, sugar trade at Bristol, the
mines at Redruth, bullocks at Devonshire, pipe clay at Teignmouth, sail-cloth
at Bridport, hogs at Hampshire, hops at Farnham, gunpowder at Battel,
turnery-ware at Tunbridge, (whale) oil at Hull, paper-making at Maidstone, coals
at Newcastle, buntine and shrouds at Sudbury, potatoes in Ireland, (with
description of destitute poverty then prevalent in Ireland.) and much more. 168
pp. 11 x 18 cm. Marbled paper on board, with a "new" paper
spine (perhaps 100 years old), cover well worn at edges, front hinge
cracked, pp. 91-92 two-thirds missing,
bottoms of several pages frayed, poor. (4997) $49.00. Children's England
Very Little Tales for Very Little Children in Single Syllables of Four and Five Letters, Second Series, First American from the Fifth London Edition 1845 Philadelphia, PA: Geo. S. Appleton, 148 Chesnut St. Tales printed in very large type: The New Born Lamb; The Bad Boy, &c.; Old Sly Sam (or Old Sam Sly); Poor Fan. 253 pp. 10 x 12.7 cm. Blindstamped cloth on board, edges frayed. Front free endpaper torn, wrinkled. Fair. (7787) $50.00. Children's
Friend of Youth title page
Friend of Youth; or New Selection of Lessons, In Prose and Verse, for Schools and Families to Imbue the Young with Sentiments of Piety, Humanity and Universal Benevolence. Second Edition. By Worcester, Noah, D.D. 1823.
Cummings, Hilliard & Co. This was an influential little book when it
appeared in 1822-- it had everything! Divine
Compassion illustrated by the Parables; Report of a Visit to the Loo Choo
Islanders. Also, "Character of Numa Pompilius"; Fable of the
Bee, the Ant, and the Sparrow." "The Smallest of Known Animals"--Animalcules.
"On the Fascinating Power of Serpents"; "Influence of
Education in regard to Appetites and Passions." "Influence of
Education and habit on horses and dogs." "Effects and Influence of
War" by Dr. Channing. "Rights and Duties of Rulers" by
Rev. S. Blackslee. Poem, "The
Lord and the Judge" by Lomonosov. "Pride not made for
Man" by Boston, MA Addison. "Remarks on
Patriotism" by Gallison. "Reflections on Fireworks" by
Addison. "Citizens of New England
bound to support
and correct Abuses" by Webster. Extracts from Russian Poetry by
Karamsin, Bobrov. " Liberty and Ice
Bergs" "The Docility of
Animals" by Smellie. "Salt Mines of Ice
by Clarke. "Dangerous
Influence of Party Passions". Much more. 276 pp. 11.6 x 18.2 cm.
Beautifully burled calf on board, moderately worn. Inscription on front pastedown: "Betsey
Smith Jenneys Book, Poland ."
Pages foxed. Overall Good. (1616)
$44.00. Religious/Educational New Bedford
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