London: Printed for John Stockdale, 1790. An early edition, a work of moral and instructive stories for young people. ESTC records editions dated 1788, 1789, 1796, and 1797. All editions are scarce. Thirty engravings, including frontispiece. Binding extremities lightly rubbed. Small tear to gutter margin of frontispiece, slightly affecting caption. Short closed tear to pp. 17-20, slightly touching images on p. 18 and p. 20. Small chips to outer margin of pp. 19-20 and 37-38, slightly affecting legibility of a few words. Ink annotation to upper margin of p. 195. Other occasional minor chips, tears, or small stains. Darkstaining to lower margins of pp. 125-144, not affecting text. Contemporary ink markings on recto of preliminary blank. A very good copy of a scarce, fragile wor. Contemporary marbled boards. Octavo. v, [1, blank], 340, [14, publisher’s ads]. Item #16581
We do not know who the editor of this miscellany was. It includes excerpts from Alexander Pope and Thomas Gray, as well as the Thomas Day contribution, though we were unable to determine who the author(s) of the other pieces are. Thomas Day (1748-1789) was a friend of Richard Lovell Edgeworth. He accompanied Edgeworth and the latter’s son Dick on a trip to Ireland and, later, to meet Rousseau. Day’s best-known work was the three-volume Sandford and Merton (1783, 1786, and 1789), interpolated stories that provided interpolated stories that provided an introduction to a variety of subjects (ancient history, biology, geography, etc.). Day’s The History of Little Jack, written for children, proved to be a tremendous success. The Children’s Miscellany consists of both fiction and nonfiction, including “A Sketch of Universal History,” “Description of the Two-Horned Rhinoceros,” and stories like “The Little Queen,” and “Courage Inspired by Friendship.
ESTC notes seven copies of the present edition, two in North America at the Huntington and the Toronto Public Libraries.