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PENROSE, Elizabeth as MARKHAM, Mrs.

A History of France with Conversations at the End of each Chapter.

For the Use of Young Persons.

London: John Murray, 1828 Stock Code: 117710
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A lovely copy in an attractive contemporary binding

First edition, in an attractive contemporary binding, of Elizabeth Penrose's pseudonymously published second popular history for children. Penrose's pioneering and influential juvenile works were distinguished by her use of an explicatory narrative technique which concludes each chapter with dialogue between the author and her fictional pupils.

The first of her school histories, A History of England from the First Invasion by the Romans to the End of the Reign of George III (1823) is widely considered "the most successful 19th-century history textbook" (ODNB) and was the primary source for English history consulted by schools and families for nearly half a century.

Penrose is also notable for her desire to be closely involved in the illustration process of her books, evident from her correspondence with her publisher John Murray. As a result her works are recognised as "pioneering in the field of illustration. Probably for the first time, a textbook was illustrated with metanymic illustrations" (Mitchell, p. 67).

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2 volumes, octavo (178 x 105 mm). Contemporary tan half calf, blue marbled paper boards, smooth spines ruled in gilt and blind with volume numbers lettered in gilt to fourth compartments but otherwise untitled.


Engraved frontispieces and illustrations throughout.


Later ownership inscriptions of G. Gardner-Brown in pencil to front free endpapers. Extremities worn and boards very slightly scuffed, evidence of spine labels to second compartment sometime carefully removed, remnants of red adhesive mounts to pastedowns, minor foxing to contents, else a very good set.


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