Geography and Travel. 1036: Anon., Geography and History
||Geography and history selected by a lady for the use of her own children. The eleventh edition enlarged and illustrated with maps
||Law and Whittaker, etc.
||1 vol., xiv + 385pp.
||17.5 x 10.5 cm
||Fold-out map at front, map illustrating geographical terms plus several other fold-out diagrams
Images of all pages of this book Note: these have NOT been verified or catalogued. Use with care.
In her preface, the author gives an account of how she would go about teaching children using this book. Her technique begins with a 'dissected' map of England, introduced as a toy for when the child choses 'to be at leisure to play with it' (p.vii). The child's own town should be pointed out, plus those where his or her friends live, and so on. As an 'indulgence' the child should be allowed to look over some sections of 'England' in the book, so as to find out about places on the map. When they have gone through England in this manner - which might take a year for a five or six-year-old - then they should be taught the geography of the rest of the world, proceeding regularly through the book. They should be allowed a week to read over the material in each section, the author counsels, before they have to learn it by heart, and thus, she claims, they will half have learned it before they realise it is a lesson. Once each country has been completed in this manner, the child should repeat everything learned in that section. As the child learns the history which follows, they will be able to refer back to the geography they already know (pp.vii-ix).
The volume is divided into several distinct parts. First comes a five-page section on the world in general, with geographical definitions referring to the accompanying diagram. Second is a gazetteer, describing countries one by one. This is conventional material, about what borders each country, its chief cities, rivers, and so on. A dash of relevant history is added too, especially for the European nations. The last entry, rather excitingly, covers 'New Discoveries', which includes brief mentions of New Guinea, Sandwich Islands, New Zealand and other 'new-found' lands. Next comes 'Of the voyages that have been made round the world' - short histories of the voyages of Drake, Magellan and so on (pp.249-54) - followed by a discussion of globes, latitude and longitude, and so on, including tables and the inevitable 'problems' - that is to say questions to be answered to illustrate facets of geography. A section on astronomy comes next, then a 'Chronological Table' starting in B.C. 4004 with the Creation, and ending in 1815 (pp.309-59). 'A Table of Men of Learning and Genius among the Ancients' (p.360) is followed by 'A table for British geniuses', starting with Bede and going up to Edmund Burke, William Cowper, William Paley, and then a list of celebrated artists. French, Spanish, Portuguese and other foreign geniuses are listed separately. Finally comes a table showing the population of Europe and the World.