A Young Christian’s Soliloquy, by [YOUNG.]

A Young Christian’s Soliloquy, by [YOUNG.]
seaside cirulating library

A Young Christian’s Soliloquy, on Scripture Characters, in the Old Testament. London, J. and E. Wallis, circa 1830.

First Edition. 16mo, (144 x 115 mm), engraved and hand-coloured frontispiece, pp. [2], 15 plates, bound to face one another, [1] poem, some foxing to the plates and paper slightly crumpled, in the original grey printed wrappers, typographical border to both covers, advertisements on the back wrapper, covers dust-soiled and slightly sprung, with the ownership inscription ‘David Stewart Gibson 30th October 1818’.

A delightful juvenile picture book of characters from the Old Testament. Each hand-coloured plate bears a full-page oval engraving depicting a scene featuring a well-known character from the bible, with a prayer or affirmation (hence the ‘soliloquy’) in the form of a couplet, at the top and bottom of the picture. The emphasis is on heroic examples and how to emulate them, such as the patience of Job and the trustfulness of Elijah. The bible reference is also given to each plate, presumably to facilitate further study.
This issue was printed for ‘J. and E. Wallis’ in London and also for John Wallis’ Marine Library in Sidmouth in Devon. This was a circulating library set up in 1809 in the seaside town to take advantage of the new fashion for sea bathing. The choice of these brightly coloured pictorial representations of biblical figures, with a prayerful couplet to each picture, makes the perfect seaside easy-reading, while gently reminding the child of his or her Christian duties. Presumably it was also intended to engross the young child for hours of happy reflection leaving the parents free to enjoy the benefits of the seaside.
This is of one two issues of this text, with slightly different imprints which are dated by OCLC and Copac to between 1819 and 1830. The other issue lists just ‘E. Wallis’ in the imprint and is usually listed as the earlier of the two issues. However, internal evidence on this copy dates this issue to 1818.

OCLC lists Princeton and Indiana (E. Wallis edition, dated 1819-1823) and BL (J. and E. Wallis, dated [1830?]); Copac adds Bodliean (E. Wallis edition, suggested date given as 1824).

Not in Osborne Collection.

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