|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|
|Author:||Anon. (but after Thomas Parnell)|
|Publisher:||Tabart and Co.|
|Pages:||1 vol., 6pp. each with two flaps forming a new page|
|Size:||21 x 9 cm|
|Note:||The pages lift from the centre to reveal further pictures and text|
Images of all pages of this book
Parnell's Hermit is one of Benjamin Tabart's rare movable books. Each 'page' is covered by two flaps which meet in the middle (horizontally) to form a whole new 'page'. In other words, the reader is at first presented with what looks like a single page, but when each of the flaps are lifted, a new half page is revealed underneath. Engraved text and images appear on each page, the images being carefully hand-coloured.
'The Hermit' was a poem by Dr. Thomas Parnell (1679-1718), Archdeacon of Clogher, first published in 1722. The poem told of an angel which visited the Earth in human form. All of its deeds appeared wicked, but ultimately, they each prevented a greater harm from occurring. Such a fable, according to Marjorie Moon, was to be found in both the Talmud and the Koran. Moon also comments that this 'distorted moral ... must have bewildered young readers'. This might well be true, but Tabart's subject matter was presumably suggested by the physical form of the book, each page lifting to reveal what was initially hidden, just as the motivation of the angel's actions had been obscure at first (Moon 1990: 91).
Moon, Marjorie, Benjamin Tabart's Juvenile Library. A Bibliography of books for children published, written, edited and sold by Mr. Tabart, 1801-1820, Winchester, Hants. and Detroit, 1990