London: L.B. Seeley and Sons, 1834. First edition. With seven attractive engraved plates (including frontispiece). Some soiling to cloth. All edges gilt. Yellow coated endpapers. A clean copy aside from some dampstaining to endpapers. Ink gift signature (1835) to front flyleaf. A very good copy of a scarce work. Publisher’s brown cloth with dark brown leather label stamped in gilt. Twelvemo. 92 pp. Item #17031
A didactic work for children that utilizes natural history to illustrate moral lessons. The first chapter explains the behavior and anatomy of monkeys, bees, parrots, and bullfinches, while the second uses the grafting of fruit trees as a metaphor—complete with an illustration of a man cutting a branch for grafting. Other chapters explain the tools needed for carpentry, sewing, and painting, and revisit botanical and zoological metaphors.
We could not locate much information on Eliza Cheap (fl. 1820s-30s). She wrote many other didactic works, including The First Day of the Week (1823), The Guilty Tongue (1827), and The Commandment with Promise (1830). She also frequently wrote of the lives of female servants. OCLC records three copies in the United States (University of Florida, Boston University, Princeton) and two copies in England. However, the OCLC record specifies “one unnumbered leaf of plates,” while the present copy has six.