London: Printed for and Published by the Rev. J[ohn] Trusler, 1790/. First and only edition, a moral work by an author who is credited with publishing the first thesaurus to the English language (The Difference Between Words Esteemed Synonymous, 1766). Fifty woodcuts, including vignette title-page, by John Bewick. Binding extremities a bit rubbed with two small chips to crown of spine. Light foxing, the occasional small stain. Very minor closed tear to pp. 195-196, not affecting legibility. Faded contemporary ink inscription on p. 196. Bookplate on front flyleaf, bookseller’s ticket on lower front pastedown, and small book label of children’s book collector and librarian Albert A. Howard on rear pastedown, all twentieth-century. A very good copy. Later nineteenth-century mottled tan calf, boards ruled in gilt, gilt spine in six compartments, each with a repeating floral design, red gilt-lettered leather label. Edges stained yellow, marbled endpapers, gilt turn-ins. Sixteenmo. viii, 196 pp. Item #16570
John Trusler (1735-1820) was a Church of England clergyman author, and printer, educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He was a compiler of others’ works, the most famous of which was a “methodised and digested” version of Lord Chesterfield’s Letters to His Son (1774), published as Principles of Politeness (1775).
John Bewick (bap. 1760-1795) was a wood-engraver and the younger brother of Thomas Bewick. Once in London, he worked for his brother’s former employer, Thomas Hodgson of Clerkenwell, a wood-and metal-engraver. Bewick eventually set out on his own and rented rooms from George Percival at 7 Clerkenwell Green. Here, he began his relationship with the eccentric Dr. John Trusler, who lived nearby and printed his own books from his home. Trusler commissioned nine of the sixty-eight titles so far identified as having containing John Bewick’s illustrations.