The Lady’s Preceptor; or, A Series of Instructive and Pleasing Exercises in Reading; For the Particular Use of Females…Intended for the Cultivation of Their Minds...By Mr. Cresswick.

London: Printed for G.G.J. and J. Robinson, 1792. First edition, a compilation meant for the moral and mental improvement of young ladies that includes essays, dialogues (several of which are from Shakespeare), letters (including one from Dr. Johnson to Susan Thrale), and several passages from the work o Spine lightly toned. Front hinge cracked, but sound. Light foxing, intermittent light dampstaining. Trivial small red or purple markings on pp. 24, 154, 385, not affecting text. Small smudge on p. 251, affecting a few letters. A very good copy. Bound to style in twentieth-century full brown calf, gilt-ruled spine in five compartments, green and brown gilt-lettered leather spine labels. Octavo. [2], vi, 426 pp. (Item ID: 16568)


We were able to find little information about Mr. Cresswick in the sources available to us, though he describes himself as a “teacher of elocution” on the title-page. He wrote several works for women, including The Female Reader; or, Miscellaneous Pieces in Prose and Verse (1789). In the Preface to the Lady’s Preceptor, the Cresswick writes, “Though…the public are in possession of a great variety of useful Collections, calculated to furnish young persons with exercises in reading and speaking; yet there seems to be wanting a further selection for the particular use of Young Ladies. To effect this desirable object, and to enable them, under proper instructions, to acquire the valuable and pleasing accomplishment of reading with propriety and elegance…[I have] selected a series of Essays, Narratives, Dialogues, Letters, and other compositions…the whole with a view to…furnish their minds with a fund of innocent, pleasing, and useful ideas” (p. iv). Topics covered in the aforementioned narratives, include “reasons which should put ladies upon their guard against reading the generality of modern novels,” the origin of novels and romances, pride, female credulity, artificial beauty, followed by letters, dialogues, and poems.

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