A,B,C BOOK. With Pictures of Birds.

(Greenfield, Massachusetts: A. Phelps, circa 1815).

NEARLY UNHEARD OF IN SUCH NICE CONDITION. This children s book is called a chapbook, a more modern term that derives from the chapmen. Chapmen were pedlars who hawked their goods in towns and villages, and at country fairs. In 1553, Edward VI proclaimed that champmen must be licensed and Chettle, in Kind Hart s Dreame (1592) wrote that   Chapmen are able to spred more pamphlets...then all the booksellers in town.  Although they sold other wares, too, they always had cheap booklets, sometimes ballad sheets which eventually assumed the familiar form af a miniature booklet, with a paper cover thatusually had a picture. Even Shakespeare, in Henry IV, mentioned the chapmen as did Urquhart s Rabelais in 1653. With the growth of small printers, miniature editions of old favourites could be printed. While chapbooks were ostensibly designed to help children learn how to read, they often broached adult subjects and were the source of entertainment in families and villages.
This booklet goes through the alphabet at the tops of the pages and has a drawing and description of different types of birds for the remaining 2/3 of each page. Upper and lower covers nicely illustrated. Item #15977

First edition. With 16 woodcut illustrations. 12 mo, very scarce publisher's original paper wraps with illustrated covers lettered and decorated in blue. 18 pp Very attractive little book, nicely illustrated.

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Price: $495.00