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Poetry, Verse and Rhymes; Games. 0803: Anon., Little Polly and her Dolly

Author: Anon.
Title: Little Polly and her dolly. Embellished with many neat engravings
Cat. Number: 0803
Date: No date but c.1840?
1st Edition:
Pub. Place: London
Publisher: Dean and Co., Threadneedle-Street
Price: 1d
Pages: 1 vol., 10pp.
Size: 14 x 9 cm.
Illustrations: Title-page vignette and 22 wood-engravings

Images of all pages of this book

Page 001 of item 0803

Introductory essay

Little Polly and her Dolly is not actually about dolls at all (although a small cut of a girl with a doll appears on p.11). Rather, it is about Polly learning what else might be done, more charitably, with the shilling which she begs from her mother to buy a new doll. The money might be used to buy wood for 'Nanny's fire', Polly's mother tells her, or to buy bread for a family whose father has died, or to pay for shoes for Little Dick. Moreover, since Papa 'toils all day' for 'Polly and mamma', should they 'Even a shilling throw away?' (p.6) By the end of the short poem, Polly has ceased to desire a new doll, and begs a shilling from her mother to take to Nanny. Such lessons in thrift, charity, and the value of money, were frequently to be found in the children's books of the early nineteenth century, though they were seldom quite so explicit as here.