Religious Books, Bibles, Hyms, etc. 0473: Anon., Youth's Looking-Glass
||Youth's looking-glass. Being a divine dialogue between a young man, Satan, and our Saviour Jesus Christ. Shewing, by way of emblems, the great duty of remembering our Creator in the days of our youth
||No date but c.1800?
||'Printed and Sold in Aldermary Church-Yard, Bow Lane, London' [but no publisher given]
||1 vol., 8pp.
||17 x 11 cm
Images of all pages of this book
This short religious chapbook appeared in a number of versions throughout the late eighteenth, and perhaps into the nineteenth, century. Elements of the emblem-book form remain, the wood-cut on the outside front cover, for instance, symbolically representing the triumph over death promised by Christ. The majority of the text, though, is unaccompanied by images, and takes the form of a dialogue in verse between a young man and the Devil, with Christ appearing at the close to answer the pious young man's prayers. The verse is not especially easy, or particularly suited to young people. On the other hand, the central conceit - that the book can act as a looking-glass or mirror to show a young reader the realities of his or her life - was a common feature of eighteenth-century children's literature (see Pickering 1993: 182-94).
Pickering, Samuel F., Jnr.Moral Instruction and Fiction for Children, 1749-1820, University of Georgia Press, Athens, 1993