The instructor: or, young man’s best companion…to which is added the family’s best companion…

London, for A. Bettesworth and C. Hitch, [not before 1735].

8vo, pp. viii, 424, + 4 engraved plates of letterforms on two leaves and one folding table, with two pages of needlework patterns in the family’s best companion; table torn with small loss to border and a line of text at foot, small stain to one leaf, a few leaves with very light damp-stain, else a very good copy in contemporary sheep, double blind fillet border, inner blind roll, joints cracked but cords sound, spine chipped at head and foot with loss to lower compartment, corners bumped, a little rubbed with small loss to upper board; ownership inscriptions of G. Digby and C. Duckson to front pastedown, another dated 1746 partially erased at head of title; preserved in a cloth box.


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Second edition, (first, 1727). ‘Volumes entitled The Young Man’s companion exist in many versions and go back to the 1680s when William Mather produced the first of them. They are compendiums of useful information, intended for self-improvement. They concentrate on English, Mathematics, including mensuration for elementary building and carpentry, and geography. There is much miscellaneous information’. (David Barton: Letter writing as a Social practice, pp. 51-2).

The present work includes a wealth of useful information, including lists of proverbs, instructions for making pens and ink, model letters, how to keep accurate accounts, wordings for different bills, guides to the universities and counties, month by month gardening instructions, how to mark linen for tapestries, and recipes for different wines.

Alston IV, 358. This edition not in Herwood or ICA, which list several editions, all later. ESTC finds only a single copy of this edition, at the British library.

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