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Stories Before 1850. 0237: Anon., The Lilliputian Magazine; or, Children's Repository

Author: Anon. ('Timothy Teachum, and Co.')
Title: The Lilliputian magazine; or, children's repository. Containing what is whimsical, witty, and moral, calculated to entertain and improve the minds of youth of both sexes. By Timothy Teachum, and Co.
Cat. Number: 0237
Date: No date (but 1773-74?)
1st Edition: Unknown
Pub. Place: London
Publisher: W. Tringham, at No.11, on the Left Hand Side of Fleet-Ditch, leading to Blackfriars-Bridge, and sold by all the Booksellers, Stationers, Toy-Shops, and Newsman, of Great Britain and Ireland [subsequent title-pages to individual parts of the 'Magazine' mention the work as being printed for Tringham and sold principally by 'W. Harris, St. Paul's Church Yard']
Price: 9d per volume
Pages: 6 vols. (bound together), vii + 109, 100, 112, 95, 118 and 50pp.
Size: 12 x 8.5 cm
Illustrations: Frontispiece and 47 further copper-plate engravings; plus 25 engraved plates for the 'Moral and Entertaining Alphabet'
Note: The volumes are entitled: 1. 'The Lilliputian History'; 2. 'Entertaining Memoirs of Little Personages, or, Moral Amusements for Young Gentlemen, contained in the histories of Joseph Jollyboy, Tommy Telltruth, Billy Trifler, Francis Fearful, Simon Simple and Master Playful'; 3. 'Entertaining Memoirs of Little Personages or, Moral Amusements of Young Ladies contained in the histories of Sally Speedwell, Polly Pert, Nancy Nightingale, The Dutiful Daughter, Jenny Gentle, Fanny Hewet'; 4. 'Fables for Younger Minds by Young Gay'; 5. 'The Moral and Entertaining Alphabet' [though its title-page appears here, its constituent pages actually appear at the end of the book]; 6. 'Lilliputian Poetry by Christopher Crambo' [title-page misplaced at the beginning of the book]. The whole elegantly bound in leather in one volume.

Images of all pages of this book

Page 002 of item 0237

Introductory essay

For synopses see below.

According to the 'Advertisement' which appears at the front of this volume, The Lilliputian Magazine was issued in monthly instalments, each 48 pages long and with six copper-plate engravings (p.vi). The 'Advertisement' also boasts that each part will be so configured that they can be bound together to form six separate volumes for each year, presumably with two parts to one volume (p.vii). The Hockliffe copy contains six volumes - that is to say twelve installments, a full year's worth - which have been bound together but retain their separate title-pages and pagination, although some binding errors have been made (the title-page to the sixth volume, 'Lilliputian Poetry', is to be found before volume one; the constituent pages of volume five, 'The Moral and Entertaining Alphabet', are after volume six). It is unlikely that more parts were produced than appear in the Hockliffe Collection. None appears in the English Short Title Catalogue or the other major collections of early children's literature, and, in any case, the 'Publisher's Farewell' (pp.117-118) announces that, after twelve months, the work is complete. Whether this was always the plan, or whether sales proved disappointing, must remain open to question. However, the subscribers listed between volumes one and two (pages i, ii-iii, iv-v, vi) would presumably have limited their commitment to the project to a finite period. In any case, the individual volumes (i.e. each apparently composed of two installments, although it is difficult to see where the volumes would have been divided) were sold separately by the publishers, as individual books, not part of a series. This would account for the presence in several libraries of individual volumes of The Lilliputian Magazine, and the Hockliffe Collection contains an edition of Entertaining Memoirs of Little Personages for both Young Gentlemen and Young Ladies - that is to say volumes two and three of The Lilliputian Magazine (0125). A booklist at the end of 0125 lists each volume of the The Lilliputian Magazine for sale individually at 9d each, or 1/6 coloured.

The date of the work, whether published as a serial or not, is uncertain. The title-pages carry no date, but a putative letter to the editors of the work in the final volume, 'Lilliputian Poetry', is dated January 1774, suggesting that the Magazine as a whole was issued during 1773 and 1774, or, at least, that it was not published before then (p.102). This date is supported, if not proved, by the imprint. The address of the publisher, W. Tringham, is given as 'No.11, on the Left Hand Side of Fleet-Ditch, leading to Blackfriars-Bridge'. Blackfriars Bridge, the third to cross the Thames, was not completed until 1769. Those of Tringham's other publications which bear a date, often single sheets, were issued a little earlier, in the 1760s, although, at a different address, he was publishing until the 1780s. And William Harris, who is mentioned as the work's principal bookseller on the title-pages to the separate volumes (but not the overall title-page), was active at the address printed there from 1768 to 1775 according to Ian Maxted's The London Book Trades (Maxted 1977: 103). When he issued the volumes separately, Tringham was operating from a different address: 36 Hosier Lane, West Smithfield, as indicated by the title-page of 0125. Judging from the editor's claims in the advertisement at the beginning of The Lilliputian Magazine, its contents were specially commissioned for the part-work, so the separate publication of the individual volumes probably occurred a year or two afterwards (pp.iv-v). Certainly, the individually-issued volumes constituted a different edition from those published for the Lilliputian Magazine. Though the text is identical, their format is occasionally slightly different. Entertaining Memoirs of Little Personages, or, Moral Amusements for Young Gentlemen was a few pages shorter when published separately, for instance, and the title-page of Entertaining Memoirs of Little Personages or, Moral Amusements of Young Ladies promises to tell the history of 'Miss Jenny Hewet' in the separately published version, whilst the Lilliputian Magazine version had promised the history of 'Miss Fanny Hewet' (title-page).

In the 1770s, another work entitled The Lilliputian Magazine would also have been appearing. John Newbery, using the imprint of Thomas Carnan, had brought out a part-work under this title in 1751-52. (see Roscoe 1973: 166-70 and Grey 1970). Although only three, or possibly just two, parts were issued before the enterprise was abandoned, presumably because of a lack of interest, this enterprise has often been credited with having been the first periodical work for children. As is often the case with Newbery's publications, the work has been variously attributed to Christopher Smart, Oliver Goldsmith and Newbery himself (although Mary Jackson claims that Smart's authorship is certain, Jackson 1989: 83 and n.). By 1752, three numbers were combined into a single volume, and in this form they continued to be issued, under the same title, until at least 1783 (and 1819 in Ireland). The seventh edition of 1772 would perhaps have coincided with Tringham's rival publication, with another appearing in 1777. Perhaps this was why the editors of the Tringham work were so anxious to insist that their material was all new, 'not stale Farrago hash'd up, and set upon the Table with a new Name to pass for a new Dish' (p.iv). Who actually wrote this new material is not known. The 'Advertisement' assured the reader that the project would be undertaken by 'several Geniusses' (p.v), but the only names supplied - Timothy Teachum and Christopher Crambo (putative author of Lilliputian Poetry) and 'Young Gay' (putative author of Fables for Younger Minds, according to its title-page) are, of course, pseudonyms. John Gay's Fables had appeared in 1727-1728, but those appearing in the Lilliputian Magazine are new, if very similar in style.

Of the six volumes, the first, 'The Lilliputian History', is probably the most engaging and the most likely to extend the 'risible Muscles with pure Mirth' (p.iv). What actual instruction this volume would afford - for the aim of the wit and whimsy was, the 'Advertisement' insists, to expedite the moral tuition which formed the book's principal purpose - is questionable. The volume chronicles the life and times of King Tom Thumb, monarch of Lilliputia (see below for synopsis). Its narrative alternates between accounts of King Thumb's martial triumphs and reports of the lavish ceremonies which succeed his military victories, his marriage, the safe arrival of the fleet, and so on. These are described in some detail, and were surely intended to keep the attention of readers - female readers perhaps - who would not be particularly fired by the Lilliputians' military escapades. The didacticism, such as it is, is to be found in the attempt to unite the narrative with the traditional recommendation of books and schooling. King Thumb, Jack the Giant Killer, and the other grandees of Lilliputia, are ardent advocates of 'the advancement of learning'. They fight the Giants of Ignorance and Superstition, the Lilliputian army being divided into regiments such as the 'Alphabetical Infantry', the 'Orthographical Grenadiers' and the 'Intrepid Sons of Syntax' (1:9). This draws partly on the allegorical tradition of Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and partly on the whimsical didacticism of John Newbery's early publications. The attack on superstition, alongside ignorance, draws on John Locke - as is very evident from the story 'Francis Fearfull' in volume two (see below for synopsis). The only other didactic technique on show is the occasional interjection of a narratorial voice to hope that, just as the Lilliputians love their books, so 'every little boy and girl would make the same use of the indulgence their parents allow them, in letting them have all sorts of good books for the improvement of their understanding, for unless they give their minds to the study of them; they might as well never have them'. After all, 'it is not the thumbing, and dogs-earing of them, nor tossing them about till they are dirty, that is a proof they know any thing of the contents' (1:74).

In some other ways it seems as though the description of Lilliput's government and royal family is supposed to serve as a larger allegorical lesson for Britain. It seems possible, for example, that there is a touch of irony in the description of Smilinda, the Queen of Lilliput, as 'possest of every Virtue, which we can expect from one in so exalted a Station' (1:29). And is there the hint of a rebuke in the pointed assertion that the King referred to the wise men of Lilliput on all important occasions, 'without whose concurrence he never did any thing, (and indeed no prince, who wishes well to his country ever will)' (1:69)? After all, in the early part of his reign, George III was frequently condemned for his arbitrary style of government. Similarly, the reader is told that to encourage domestic manufactures, Queen Smilinda did not wear foreign articles of clothing, and this sounds as if it is a desideratum for Britain, rather than an allegorical representation of Queen Charlotte, wife of George III. To make Tom Thumb stand for George III was hardly a flattering or patriotic comparison, whatever the tiny king's excellent qualities. Yet, King Thumb does share some of George III's characteristics. 'He appointed Rewards for Improvements in Agriculture', which would seem typical of 'Farmer George', and he 'established a Royal Academy for the Encouragement of the Arts'. George III had established the Royal Academy, just such an institution, in 1768 (1:30-31). Likewise, King Thumb is a fervent sponsor of his nation's colonial ambitions. On the other hand, King Thumb also possesses some more typically 'fairy-tale' characteristics - for instance, he regularly disguises himself and tours his dominions, relieving distress in a private capacity wherever he finds it.

If this first volume follows in the Newbery tradition in whole-heartedly recommending books and learning as the principal goal of its readers, later parts of the work give a less orthodox impression. For instance, in the most prominent story of volume two, 'The History of Joseph Jollyboy', the eponymous hero is commended for his generosity and humanity rather than for his love of learning (see below for synopsis). Indeed, an authorial voice breaks in several times with the almost heretical opinion that,

'Tis as ridiculous a Thought to cram a Boy with a Sort of Learning, which Nature has not given him Faculties to receive, so as to be of any Service to him, as that of a Gentleman feeding his Horse with Oysters, or buttering his Hay. (2:16)

The tale ends by taking to task any reader who 'should pride themselves on account of having more Wit or more Learning' that Joseph, for 'social Virtue' is more important. Without it, 'Wit and Learning is nothing' (2:19). A similar unorthodox warning that too much learning is a bad thing is to be found in 'The History of Billy Trifler' (see below for synopsis). His quest after knowledge leads to a succession of near-fatal accidents. When the reader is told that 'Mr. Jollyboy was not a man much given to moralizing' it seems as though every convention of late eighteenth century children's literature is going to be violated (2:14).

The tales that constitute the two volumes of Entertaining Memoirs of Little Personages - volume two for 'Young Gentlemen' and volume three for 'Young Ladies' - are all fairly similar. Each deals with the history of a single child from about breeching age (that is to say when a boy was first allowed to forsake his skirt and wear the adult costume of stockings and britches - at about seven or eight years old) to young adulthood, that is to say about fifteen years of age. The boys' stories usually end in a quick account of the successful career, often as a merchant, which follows their virtuous (or reformed) childhood. The girls' stories usually end in marriage, their reward for good or reformed conduct as a child. These are all affluent children. Yet they are counselled to learn useful skills - how to read and write, and, for girls, needlework - because no-one can predict Fortune's vicissitudes (a point made plain by the preamble to 'The History of Miss Sally Spellwell, 3:3). The tales also seem to be directed at least partially at parents and designed to serve as pointers to good pedagogical praxis. 'This tale may serve as a hint to parents...' is a formula that closes several of the stories (2:67).

Perhaps the most charming part of the entire work is the alphabet which forms volume five (although it has been bound at the end of the book in the Hockliffe Collection). Partly this is because of the quality of the engravings, but the attempt to unify orthographical and moral instruction is often both clever and appealing. Some of the letters retain their conventional associations - A is for Archer, X is for Xenophon - but C is for cow, say, not because a cow is an everyday phenomenon, which would have been familiar to many readers, but because cows can be urged to provide milk, cream and curds only for such as use no naughty words (C).


Vol.1: The Lilliputian History

The origins of the Lilliputian nation are lost in the mists of time, and the earliest recorded events date from King Arthur's time. It is here that the chronicle starts therefore, with King Tom Thumb of Lilliputia (sometimes called Lilliput or Liputia) presenting himself at Arthur's court, an event depicted in the frontispiece. (The tale of Tom Thumb did traditionally include his presentation and adventures at Arthur's court - see for example 0044). King Thumb is respected by Arthur for his courage and virtue, and he becomes the first Knight of the Round Table. After some unrecorded brave exploits he returns to his own kingdom where he rules justly and helps to establish his kingdom as a land of health and learning. He regulates the pastimes of the Lilliputians, introducing them to Cricket, Base-Ball and Trap-Ball (1:11), and his proudest achievement, he says, has been 'The Advancement of Learning ... and the numberless Books I have ordered to be written on that Account' (1:7-8). But this is all under threat because the forces of Ignorance and Superstition, led by the giants Gog and Magog, are mounting an invasion of Lilliputia. King Thumb, together with his brave general, Jack (later to be called 'Giant Killer', and 'a sincere Lover of Virtue and Learning': 1:5), organises the defence of the realm. The troops are drawn up into regiments - the 'Alphabetical Infantry', the 'Royal Regiment of the Primmer' [sic - i.e. Primer], the 'Orthographical Grenadiers', the 'Intrepid Sons of Syntax', the 'Mathematical Heroes', the 'Parnassion [sic] Light Troop', and so on (1:9). The battle soon comes. It is a close run thing, but eventually the forces of Lilliputia triumph, Jack and the 'Sons of Syntax' having been particularly brave. The Lilliputians give thanks for their victory, and the Giants, before they are finally put to flight, sing their own defiant song:

These Brats of Liputia now make a great Noise,
With Bonfires, and Music, and holla, Brave Boys!
They boast of their Learning, their Primer and Books,
But let them beware how they meet with our Looks.

For if once they should happen to fall in our Way,
What a glorious Dinner we'll all have that Day!
Fry'd, Fricaseed, Spitted, all dress'd in high Taste,
With their King in a Pye, with a Crust of rich Paste. (1:20-21)

But the war is over, and an alliance is formed between the Lilliputians and their neighbours, the Yarthonians. It is cemented by the marriage of King Thumb with the Yarthonian princess, Smilinda, an event described at some length.

Lilliputia is restored to its wonted peace, and a son is born to the King and Queen, apparently in the year 1514 (1:45). His Christening, and the celebrations surrounding it, are described in all their elaborate detail. While out hunting, King Thumb is betrayed by some of his own courtiers into the hands of the Giants. They imprison him, and he only escapes with the help of his gaoler, a banished Lilliputian himself, who now repents his former misdemeanours. Having escaped, King Thumb leads back an army to the land of the Giants and once again he wins a mighty victory over them.

This is followed by another martial campaign - this time the naval victory over the Gothonians - and then the safe arrival back in Lilliput of a fleet which had set out on a voyage of discovery. Their reports are preceded by another lengthy account of the lavish celebrations put on in honour of the travellers' return. The celebration includes a classical masque, which is so easily comprehensible to the Lilliputians that it proves, says our narrator, King Thumb's emphasis on education has not been unproductive. The narrator again breaks in to hope that 'every little boy and girl would make the same use of the indulgence their parents allow them, in letting them have all sorts of good books for the improvement of their understanding, for unless they give their minds to the study of them; they might as well never have them' (1:74). Once the celebrations are over, King Thumb hears the account of the voyage of discovery from his admiral, Jack the Giant Killer. Having set out westwards, and come close to ship-wreck, the sailors finally sighted an unknown land. They moored and found the island inhabited by a race of meek giants (giants compared with the Lilliputians at least: pictured opposite 1:95). The Lilliputians subdued the natives by demonstrating the operation of their guns, and by offering several trinkets, and, having been shown all the clean springs and fertile land of the island by their hosts, they 'took possession of it in the name of our majesty' (1:96). This concludes the history of Lilliput, although the author does hold out hope of another volume of the life of the King of Lilliputia.

Vol.2: Entertaining Memoirs of Little Personages, or, Moral Amusements for Young Gentlemen

'The History of Joseph Jollyboy' (2:1)

The transports of joy and despair felt by Mr. Jollyboy upon the birth of his son, Joseph, are recounted. Mrs. Sipall having given him the false information that Joseph had died soon after birth, he had railed against his servants and seemed on the edge of madness, but his discovery of the truth - that Joseph was alive and well - made him as ecstatic as he had been wretched. And Joseph grew up to be a fat and very jolly boy. The principal anecdote of the tale, in fact, is comprised of Joseph getting stuck in a hoop, a misadventure caused by his corpulency (and pictured opposite 2:13). Joseph is not sent to school once he is breached, but he is educated by a tutor. This tutor advises against sending Joseph to the University, a decision applauded by the narrator, who makes plain his view (in contrast to the opinion of so many subsequent children's books) that children should not be educated further than their abilities are fitted for. Rather than for his learning, Joseph is congratulated on his good-nature and generosity. He demonstrates the latter by refusing to take revenge against a boy who has pillaged a bird's nest which Joseph had shown him. Indeed, the boy having fallen out of the tree, Joseph thinks only of that boy's health, not of his own loss.

'The History of Master Trueworth' (2:20)

The infant Tommy's first words are 'Tell truth', and he lives by this motto throughout his life. Not only is he respected at school - and the most prominent episode of the rather uneventful narrative is the triumph of Tommy's integrity over a school-fellow who plots to implicate Tommy in his mischief - but his honesty enables him to succeed in his adult life too. Like a latter-day Dick Whittington, Tommy is put to 'study Merchant's Accompts', and then sent up to London 'to be in the Compting-House of a Merchant'. There he eventually gets into partnership with the owner, marries the owner's daughter, becomes rich, is knighted, and serves as Lord Mayor. The lesson that honesty pays is made explicit at the story's close.

'The History of Billy Trifler' (2:39)

As an infant, Billy loved toys, collecting enough to stock a toy-shop in fact. But one day, catching a butterfly and inquiring of its nature to his father, Billy became possessed of a love for learning. He asked to be sent directly to school, and though he was teased there, being called 'Billy Butterfly' because of his continuing fascination with them, he was soon the best scholar there. The only other incidents in the tale concern Billy's habit of seeking out the wonders of nature without due regard to his personal safety. He has to be rescued twice, once from a pond into which he had fallen while chasing a butterfly, and once from a hollow tree, in which he had become wedged while attempting to capture a bird's nest. The moral drawn at the end of the tale warns children not to disturb the repose of their parents by getting themselves into fixes similar to Billy's. This could be taken as a metaphorical warning not to seek too ardently for knowledge, but such a reading would have to be weighed against the congratulation the text offers to Billy for his willing scholarship, all motivated by his initial wonder at the butterfly.

'Francis Fearfull' (2:55)

Francis is put under the care of a nurse until he is eight years old, and his indolent father refrains from checking up on what she is teaching him. In fact, under the tutelage of the nurse, Francis has imbibed all sorts of superstitious fears. She has told him, for example, of 'Valentine and Orson, the seven Champions, the old woman of Radcliff-highway, the tales of the fairies' and 'stories about Witches and Ghosts, Hobgoblins, and the shrieking woman, the coachman without a head, and houses that were haunted' (2:57). Francis' susceptibility to all this is only discovered when he is sent to school, where the slightest thing - a bat, a scarecrow - terrifies him. At last the cause of his timorousness is identified, and the nurse is reprimanded for her folly. Francis, due to his love of learning, manages to shake off these early impressions - an all too rare occurrence.

'Simon Simple's History' (2:68)

Simon is too ingenuous to suspect anyone of trying to injure him. He is therefore easy game for the designs of others. His school-fellows prevail on him to steal apples for them, and, later, to go for a dangerous ride on a bull. Though Simon complies with their requests, he always escapes with his good name unsullied, thanks to his evident innocence.

'The Truant: a Story' (2:86)

Master Playful is sent to a day school, but increasingly plays truant, arriving late, departing early, or not attending at all. His absences are discovered by his father when he pays an unannounced visit to the school, and Master Playful is severely whipped. Fortunately, this makes him see the errors of his ways, and he reforms, becoming one of the best scholars in the school. As a result he is taken on as London merchant's clerk, and he does so well, that he inherits the entire company upon his master's death.

Vol.3: Entertaining Memoirs of Little Personages, or, Moral Amusements for Young Ladies

'The History of Miss Sally Spellwell' (3:1)

Sally's father died in her infancy, and she was raised by a mother who taught her to sew and to read and write. These, the narrator insists, are valuable skills, for no-one can tell when a turn of Fortune's wheel will make them dependent solely on their own skills. Indeed, when Sally's mother dies, she is left in poverty, but the good management of her household so impresses a passing stranger that she enquires after Sally's story. Discovering that Sally is the daughter of the good Reverend Spellwell, once a friend of the stranger, Sally is taken in by her. Sally soon marries the stranger's son, and returns to her former prosperity.

'The History of Miss Polly Pert' (3:14)

Polly is widely condemned for her tendency to answer back and to be over familiar to her elders and betters, and for her insatiable curiosity. Even after she has been sent away to school, she cannot be persuaded out of these habits. Eventually, the governess at the school hatches a plan to shock Polly out of her faults. Two older girls talk loud enough for Polly to hear of the rarity to be found in the governess's private closet. Polly cannot resist going to see what it is, but once she is in, a spring-bolt shuts the door behind her. She is trapped, and left to stew for a night. At last she is freed, but only to confront the governess, Polly's parents, all her fellow pupils and the servants. The terrors of the night in the closet, the humiliation upon her release, and the awareness that she has done wrong, successfully reform Polly.

'The History of Miss Nancy Nightingale' (3:25)

A young gentleman rescues the charming Nancy Nightingale first from robbers, then from a runaway horse. He successfully asks for her hand in marriage.

'The Dutiful Daughter' (3:35)

Leonora Lovegood is the daughter of a prosperous British merchant. She also stands to inherit a fortune from her childless uncle, a merchant in the West Indies. The uncle asks to see Leonora before he dies, and, with her father, she journeys to Jamaica. There she falls in love with Honorio, son of another prosperous family, and she stays in Jamaica after her father has returned to Britain. It is then that her tribulations begin. Her uncle dies, but his estate is claimed by his wife, Leonora's aunt. News comes that Leonora's father has died too, and that her mother has precipitately re-married, choosing a fortune-hunter for her new husband. Leonora rushes back to Britain, and learns that her mother has been ruined and deserted by her new husband. Leonora discovers her mother in a desperate condition and is unable to help her since her own possessions have been stolen by a highwayman. Leonora dutifully takes in needle-work to help her mother survive, and it is in this humble situation that she is discovered by Honorio, who has pursued her to Britain. Impressed by her filial duty, he marries her, relieving all her financial difficulties. The story races to is conclusion, and in a matter of a few lines the reader discovers that Leonora's aunt has died, that her uncle's true will has been found, and that Leonora inherits all her uncle's wealth to add to her own.

'Memoirs of Miss Jenny Gentle' (3:57)

Jenny's behaviour is improved through the use of a bracelet she is told always to wear which reminds her to be good tempered. One day she gives directions to an elderly stranger. Having been shown the way to his destination by Jenny, the stranger enquires her name and address. Jenny receives in the post a pearl necklace, and then, a year later, £1000 from the old man's will. Her good deed is further rewarded by Providence, for she marries the rich stranger's heir.

'The History of Miss Fanny Hewet' (3:73)

Fanny's parents had long wished for a child, and her birth, and later, her recovery from small-pox, cause them to indulge all her wishes so that she becomes spoiled and conceited. As a result, she is shunned at school, and does poorly at her studies. However, Fanny reforms in later life, having had the benefit of the wise counsel of a number of advisors, notably Mrs. Lovebook who teaches Fanny to identify and eradicate her own faults. Fanny becomes more generally admired, so much so in fact, that Mr. Graceless demands to marry her. When he is refused, he abducts her and threatens to kill her unless she complies. Only the providential passing of a Sir James Worthy frustrates his designs, and Graceless is injured in the ensuing duel. Fanny ends by marrying the Sir James. The tale is punctuated by rhyming couplets, each of which encapsulates a simple moral lesson.

Maxted, Ian, The London Book Trades 1775-1800. A Preliminary Checklist of Members, Old Woking, Surrey, 1977

Roscoe, Sydney, John Newbery and his Successors, 1740-1814: A Bibliography, Wormsley, Herts., 1973

Grey, Jill, 'The Lilliputian Magazine - A Pioneering Periodical?', Journal of Librarianship. Quarterly of the Library Association, 2 (1970), 107-15

Jackson, Mary V., Engines of Instruction. Mischief, and Magic: Children's Literature in England from Its Beginning to 1839, Lincoln, Neb., 1989