The New Preceptor, or, Young Lady’s & Gentleman’s True Instructor in the Rudiments of the English Tongue.
Kay, R.

New Castle: Castle: Printed by and for M. Angus & Son, 1801. Eight woodcuts by Thomas Bewick; engraved title-page vignette and tailpieces. Very minor wear to binding extremities, corners slightly rubbed, cloth slightly bubbled. Light dampstaining to endpapers and pp. 75-84, touching text but affecting legibility. Some leaves unopened. Title-page a bit browned, offsetting from title-page. A very good, uncut copy. Later nineteenth-century dark green pebbled cloth, gilt spine, yellow coated endpapers Twelvemo. 104 pp. (Item ID: 16557)


We were unable to learn anything about R. Kay, including his or her full name or dates, from the resources available to us. The New Preceptor is divided into two parts. The first contains the letters of the alphabet along with their pronunciation and extensive examples of the characters, both in Roman letters and italics, accompanied by general notes and remarks. The “syllables” have been divided into chapters and, within each chapter, tables and lessons. The second chapter contains words of three letters with some terminations, the third chapter contains words of four letters, and fourth chapter contains the diphthongal sounds. The second part of the work consists of disyllables, trisyllables, and polysyllables and provides concise rules for dividing them and tables that have the consonants accented. In the Preface, the author writes, “The lessons chosen as exercises…are on various subjects, religious and moral, entertaining and instructive; and I have concluded the whole with some interrogations on the uses of the points or stops, which, I trust will be generally approved, and found of great utility to the young beginner” (p. vii).

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