Publisher: London: Printed for John Stockdale, 1788.
Edition: First edition.
Bibliographical References: Osborne Collection, page 409; NCBEL II, 1025; ESTC T146355 records seven copies in the British Isles and five in North America.
Condition: Edges a little rubbed, but overall an unusually fine copy.
Book ID: 26592
Description12mo, contemporary red quarter paper spine, marbled paper sides, gilt lettering. Frontis. Half-title present. 13 pages of publisher's terminal advertisements.
CommentsA collection of eleven stories for children, probably compiled by the publisher John Stockdale, beginning with the first appearance in print of Thomas Day's History of Little Jack and concluding with Peter Longueville's History of Philip Quarll, both unsigned. Osborne states that Little Jack was first published in 1787, but there is no record (ESTC, NUC, OCLC, NCBEL, etc.) of an earlier edition. The History of Little Jack, reprinted countless times, is a classic example of an early instructional tale for children. Little Jack, a foundling, makes his way through a difficult life, joins the navy and travels to Africa and India and returns to a prosperous life in England. It concludes with: "An useful lesson may be thus learned from Little Jack; if our conduct be sober and honest, if we firmly and steadily persevere, without yielding to weakness and lamentation . . . we are likely to obtain a comfortable condition here . . . and may entertain the best founded hopes of perfect happiness in the future." This is the earliest miscellany of literature for children listed in Osborne. Two copies are recorded in ABPC in the past 60 years: in 1970 and 1975.