|Fables and Fairy Tales||Stories Before 1850||Stories After 1850||Periodicals and Annuals||Religious Books, Bibles, Hymns, etc||Books of Instruction||Nursery Rhymes and Alphabets|
|Movable and Toy Books; Myths and Heroes||Poetry, Verse and Rhymes; Games||Games and Pastimes||Natural Science||Geography and Travel||History and Biography||Mathematics|
|Title:||The little primer|
|Publisher:||J. L. Marks|
|Pages:||1 vol., 8pp.|
|Size:||10 x 7 cm|
|Illustrations:||Title-page vignette, frontispiece and six further wood-cuts|
Images of all pages of this book
Primers had been common in Britain since the middle ages. Chaucer's Prioress, for example, speaks of a child who 'sat in the scole at his prymer'in the Canterbury Tales (Carpenter 1984: 424). At first primers usually contained mostly religious matter - often the catechism - alongside the alphabet and other material designed to teach literacy and numeracy. By the eighteenth century, the secular material - the alphabet, numbers, syllables, short sentences, and so on - had become more dominant. This primer, published by J.L. Marks probably some time around 1840 or 1850, is fairly typical of the many that were published throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
William B. Todd suggests that J. L. Marks was printing under the imprint used here (91, Long Lane, Smithfield, London) from 1836-57 (Todd 1972: 126). Several of the other works in the Hockliffe Collection published by Marks have very similar front covers: see 0006, 0009, 0016, 0075, 0146, 0585, 0748, 0772, 0823 or 0860.
Carpenter, Humphrey & Pritchard, Mari, The Oxford Companion to Children's Literature, Oxford: OUP, 1984
Todd, William B., A Directory of Printers and others in Allied Trades, London and vicinity, 1800-1840, London: Historical Society printing, 1972