Songs and Tales for Children: A Collection of Chapbooks in 19th-Century Britain
This collection is a reprint of forty-three titles bound in one volume. The chapbook was a popular publication in Britain, sold cheaply, at a penny or so. As publishing became a prosperous business at the end of the eighteenth century, adult readers took to new media like magazines or newspapers and the chapbook decreased in popularity. However, the chapbook for children became popular and survived until the end of the nineteenth century. Local publishers selected suitable subjects for children and made various series. Often, expensive, well-known books published in London turned up as cheaper abridged versions in chapbook form in regional towns. Nursery rhymes, traditional tales, folklore, riddles, and street cries were published in this format with many woodcuts for illustrations.
Among many printers and publishers which came into existence in local towns or villages in the early nineteenth century because of technical innovations, a few earned the reputation for a good selection of chapbooks for children.
This collection offers twenty chapbooks, each of two leading children’s books publishers of the time, J. Kendrew in York and J. G. Rusher of Banbury, Oxfordshire, along with three titles by other publishers to show the variety of typographies and the size of books. Eight of the inclusions are in uncut sheets to show how original chapbooks are printed and sold.