London, Edinburgh and New York: T. Nelson and Sons, 1866, assumed all are 1866 1sts or 1867 reprints, dark blue or red pressed boards, identical pattern, gilt panel on spines all oriented with foot at top of text block, ivory endpapers, each captioned frontis from a story; (six little books included) 3.25x5. Small.
Several of these rare little reading books seem to have been published in 1866 by Nelson, and later reprints by other publishers can be found. They were ungraded and intended for home use, with just a few hints as to age level. Each story or poem is illustrated with its detailed full page or chapter head woodcut. Generally well written with realistic situations and gentle moral teachings, they provide a glimpse of English upper middle class family life mid 19th century. Many with a preface but the author is not stated. Not for sale individually as we want to preserve this child's 1867 collection. Each is inscribed: "Hamilton Hazelhurst from his Ma: 25th Dec. 1867" I did find online a passport issued to a grain broker of that name born in Baltimore, Md in 1859.
The Young Child's Picture Book in Words of One and Two Syllables; nd. Very short stories, well written, secular, most with amusing twists at the end or sensible reflections on bad behavior. "Young folks like to read tale books, and old folks like to hear the young folks read them. And how nice it is to read tales with no long words in them!" Blue boards VG
The Book of Beasts for Young Readers; nd. Two page articles on 29 wild animals, with interesting information, not excessively chatty or fantastic, "Some of the best artificial teeth supplied by dentists are made from the tusk of the Hippopotamus." Blue boards VG+
Simple Lays for Early Days A Book of Poetry for Children nd. Watts, Hewitt, the Taylors and others unfamiliar to us, all religious or moral poems about family members and nature, each with its finely drawn vignette. Child of Affluence: "How many poor indigent children I see,/ Who want all the comforts bestowed upon me./ But though I'm preserved from such want and distress / I am quite as unworthy of all I possess." Taylor. This volume in much more fragile condition than the rest, but it is hard to believe it was the child's favorite, perhaps read aloud by Ma. Blue boards , clean, flat pages but loose and disbound. Reading copy.
Short Stories of One and Two Syllables 1866, Paternoster Row. 14 stories with a very funny preface quoting one of Mrs. Prosy's typical rambling tales which I'd love to be able to include in full and ending with "Dear reader, Mrs Prosy is not the author of these stories. They were all written during the time that she was telling the first part of one of her shortest stories." Each story practical, well written, and often amusing, with a full page illustration. Red boards VG.
Fine Pictures and Nice Readings in Words of One and Two Syllables 1866, Paternoster Row. The interesting 14 stories for school age children are concerned with learning, relations with the poor, nature, and friendship. Each refers to its full page woodcut. Aunt Nancy though happy and cheerful barely reads and cannot write. She is a servant on David's father's farm and wishes she could have gone to school. "There are many grown-up persons who, like Aunt Nancy, wish they were young again, and could go to school. I hope that when you grow up, you may not have to wish that. Try and learn all you can now..." Red boards, extrems rubbed, spine faded, disbound, otherwise VG
Picture Book of Easy Reading in Words of One and Two Syllables nd. Two page stories for beginning readers 'not longer than two words joined together' (somewhat true) and each with a detailed half page vignette to examine. Chatty stories of interest to little children with a gentle moral. See-Saw, Too Late, Orange Peel, Apple, Mud... Charlie's nurse corrects him for calling the cast-off flowers in his toy cart "fresh" "Mama is it wrong to call these 'fresh flowers'? "No," said his mamma, "and it would not be wrong if you were to call them live lobsters. You are only in play and what you say is only to amuse yourself. If even in jest, you say something to deceive others, you tell a falsehood." Red boards spine darkened and faded, half inch joint tear, pages more toned, G+.
CONDITION: Most Very Good or better. Two disbound of which one is a RC. All with corners sharp or with tiny rubs, lightly toned pages very clean and unwrinkled, no foxing, nice paper, all inscribed to one child. Please ask for condition details. Institutional discount. Item #22713
Upgraded for all six books 9/2022.