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Books of Instruction. 0653: William Darton (?), Trifles for Children

Author: Darton, William, Snr.[?]
Title: Trifles for children. Part III
Cat. Number: 0653
Date: 1799
1st Edition:
Pub. Place: London
Publisher: William Darton and J. Harvey, Gracechurch Street
Price: 6d
Pages: 1 vol., 48pp
Size: 11.5 x 8 cm
Illustrations: Title-page vignette, frontispiece and 18 further engravings
Note: Plates are dated 1799

Images of all pages of this book

Page 002 of item 0653

Introductory essay

Trifles for Children is a curious miscellany of material. It includes religious material ('An Hymn', p.25), short cautionary tales (such as the chicken-feeding incident on p.26ff.), elements of natural history (the 'Long tailed Squirrel', p.18), and a description of the recent escape from the Tower of London's menagerie of a leopard (p.1ff.).Perhaps the most remarkable things in the book are the many high-quality engravings. These could be rather dramatic, as in the case of the boy being tossed by a bull (p.19), or the full-page engravings which illustrate the tale of two American boys washed out to sea, but picked up by a ship bound for London (p.45) and returned to their parents (p.46).

Some of these prints are dated 1798, but others bear the date 1799, somewhat belying the nominal date of publication featured on the title-page: June 20 1798. Charles Darton, a descendent of William Darton who published this book, added a note to his copy of Philip James's Children's Books of Yesterday (1933) to indicate that William Darton Snr. was himself the author of Trifles for Children. Parts 1 and 2 are not in the Hockliffe Collection.