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Books of Instruction. 0600: Anon., The New Royal Spelling Primer

Author: Anon.
Title: The new royal spelling primer
Cat. Number: 0600
Date: No date but c.1835
1st Edition:
Pub. Place: Derby
Publisher: Thomas Richardson and Son
Pages: 1 vol., 35pp.
Size: 14 x 9 cm
Illustrations: Frontispiece, title-page vignette and many other small wood-cuts in the text
Note: Another copy of 0599

Images of all pages of this book

Page 002 of item 0600

Introductory essay

This substantial primer includes not only several alphabets (one jumbled up to test the pupil), numerous sets of syllables, and pages of short words to learn (from two to five letters), but also two hymns and a short description of a swan. Its most noticeable feature is the many small wood-cuts placed at the top of each page. The splendid frontispiece and curious full-page depiction of sixteen soldiers in various poses (p.5) also add interest. Though lavishly illustrated and well preserved, The New Royal Primer is generally typical of the more luxurious primers published for children in the early nineteenth century.

The dates of publication of some of the works brought out by Thomas Richardson of Derby are printed on their title-pages. Of the British Library's collection of Richardson's publications, the earliest bears the date 1828, the latest 1848, and most were published in the mid-1830s. The British Library possesses a version of Richardson's New Royal Primer dated 1835. This shares one or two wood-cuts with the Hockliffe version, but most of the work consists of nothing more than unadorned lists of short words to be learned. Save for five pages of illustrations at the start, it lacks the wood-cuts which distinguish the Hockliffe version.