12mo, pp. 70; woodcut vignette to title; some spotting and browning, and dampstaining to front free endpaper; in contemporary green roan-backed boards with marbled sides; spine worn with some loss, sewing loose in places, boards rubbed.
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Preliminary lessons on the history of England, originally compiled for private use, and now adapted to the junior classes in English schools of both sexes. The seventh edition.
Later edition of this uncommon Taunton-printed sketch of English history for use in primary schools, which first appeared in 1809. After brief notes on Julius Caesar, the Saxons, and notable pre-Conquest kings, the book offers a short overview of the character of each monarch (and monarch substitute) from 1066 up until George IV, the principal events in their reigns, their accomplishments, and their vices. The author was not afraid of expressing his view: Charles II (‘as fond of absolute power as the rest of his unhappy family’) was succeeded by James II (‘a bigot to the Romish religion … and naturally cruel. He lost his kingdom for the sake of his religion, and seems possessed of no one good or pleasing quality’).
The work concludes with an outline of the British constitution and the role of parliament, the great offices of state, and the legal system.
All editions are rare: the present edition is recorded by Library Hub at the V&A and BL only, while no other edition is held by more than two libraries. The latest edition we can locate is the twelfth of 1836, also at the BL.
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