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The Picture Alphabet for the Instruction and Amusement of Boys and Girls

The Picture Alphabet for the Instruction and Amusement of Boys and Girls
Otley, H.S. "The Picture Alphabet for the Instruction and Amusement of Boys and Girls" Printed by William Walker, 1830. From: Stockham, Peter [comp.] CHAPBOOK ABCS. Reprints of Five Rare and Charming Early Juveniles. NY: Dover Publications, Inc. p.74+75

It was not until the eighteenth century, during the reign of Queen Anne, that the ABC began to take on the appearance of its present-day counterpart -- the alphabet book. It was then that the comic rhyme, "A was an Archer," a favorite jingle memorized by 17th century English children, was published as a chapbook. The ABC slowly began to change into a book for use in the nursey with children prior to their actual entry into school. The alphabet book included illustrations for each letter, along with words, sentences or rhymes. It took on the appearance of a plaything, more of a toy than a book, intended to amuse and entertain.


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