London: W. Spilsbury, 1804. Fourth edition, revised, corrected, and augmented by the author, of this children’s encyclopedia that covers a vast array of subjects including art, science, anatomy, mythology, history, and geography. We are unable to determine what the revisions and additions are without being able to compare it with previous editions. Illustrated with sixteen engraved plates, each depicting some of the book’s wide range of topics, including mythological characters, architecture, agriculture and its tools, coats of arms, crowns, and armor. Hinges reinforced with paper tape. Short closed tear to pp. 95-96 and pp. 111-112, slightly intruding into text, but not affecting legibility. A few leaves very slightly creased. Contemporary ink signature on lower title-page. Later nineteenth-century engraved armorial bookplate of James Alexander Henryson-Caird on front pastedown. A very good copy of a scarce work. Contemporary tree calf, recently rebacked with original spine laid down. Octavo. 1, title], [1, blank], ii, v-vii, [1, blank], 272 pp. Item #16528
Nicolas Wanostracht (1745-1812) was the founder of Alfred House Academy and the great uncle of author Nicholas Wanostracht (1804-1876, pseudonym Nicholas Felix). He was the tutor of (Earl of Bathhurst) Henry Bathhurst’s children. Wanostrocht wrote books on French language, grammar, and syntax, mostly for young readers. Alfred Academy was progressive at the time given its emphasis on French language and literature as opposed to the Greek and Latin classics.
James Alexander Henryson-Caird (1847-1921) served in the House of Commons from 1857-1865. He was a farmer, landowner, agronomist, and advocate of free trade.