Books of Instruction. 0611: Anon., The Parlour Teacher
||The parlour teacher
||W. Darton and J. Harvey, 55 Grace Church Street
||1 vol., 30pp. (pages unnumbered)
||15 x 9.5 cm
||Title-page vignette plus twelve pages of engravings
||Inscription on inside front cover: 'E. A. Mitchell / May 12th 1805'
Images of all pages of this book
The parlour teacher is essentially an elaborate primer. It contains an illustrated alphabet along with a simple commentary upon in (e.g. 'KITES are made of pa-per, and were more in use some years past': p.7), and several series of syllables and short words which were the standard feature of the primer. About half of the book is comprised of 'Easy Lessons' (starting p.11). These are short narratives, with the longer words broken up into syllables. They cover such miscellaneous subjects as small-pox and inoculation (p.12), prayers to the Creator for the wonders of nature (p.20), and extracts from Gay's poems (p.19). It is the engravings, however, which are the most attractive feature of the book. They depict children and animals in various rural scenes, each image accompanying a simple sentence. The reader, it was presumably to be hoped, would be encouraged and helped to read the sentence by the alluring picture.