The Pleasing Instructor or Entertaining Moralist containing Select Essays, Relations, Visions and Allegories collected from The most Eminent English Authors, to which are prefixed New thoughts on Education. A New Edition.
[ Fisher, Anne, compiler ].

York: Published by Wilson, Spence and Mawman, [n.d., 1795?]. Later edition, probably pirated, of a book originally published in 1756. There were many reprints of this work, but all are rare. The present edition is cited in five locations, three in the U.K., and two in California (the Huntington Library and UCLA). Engraved title-page, three engraved plates. Title-page very soiled. A decent copy of a scarce book. Modern marbled wrappers. Twelvemo, in sixes. [2], 360 pp. (Item ID: 15637)


Anne Fisher (1719-1778), the wife of Newcastle printer Thomas Slack and the mother of nine daughters, wrote a number of books on education. She “was no mere compiler; she wrote as an experienced educator. Her comments on the teaching of English grammar in the preface of her New Grammar continue to be pertinent and there is a modern ring, too, to her remark, in the introduction to her Pleasing Instructor, that: ‘An austere or learned pedant has sometimes whipped Latin, Greek, &c. into a lad, whose very disgust to it increased, perhaps, with the Acquisition thereof; but it is a manifest absurdity to maintain or imagine that anyone can be awed into a Love of learning’ (quoted in Oxford DNB). Fisher continues to lament the state of women’s education, believing that “a young lady should be taught to think, reflect, and form a taste of life in.”

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