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(MOON, William.)

Wide Line Reader. Prayers and Promises.

Formerly first lesson books. Printed and published in Moon embossed type for the blind.

London: The Moon Society, a branch of the National Institute for the Blind, [c.1920s] Stock Code: 130011
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An appealing example of a book employing William Moon's system of type, in which the letters of the alphabet are reduced to their simplest unique elements and then embossed on paper for touch-reading. Moon had contracted smallpox at the age of 4 and lost the sight in one eye, retaining some vestigial vision in the other. In 1840, aged 22, despite several operations, he became totally blind and had to abandon his intention of taking Holy Orders. Moon had experimented with various of the then current embossed lettering systems, but had found them to be "too complicated for the vast majority of blind persons, especially the aged, and accordingly constructed a system of his own in 1845, using a simplified system of roman lettering." (ODNB). The major problem for Moon's system was the sheer clumsiness of the publications, his edition of the Bible ran to 60 bulky folio volumes. Louis Braille had perfected his system for the French language in 1829, and in 1870 the publication of the first Braille work in English marked what seemed to be the beginning of the end for Moon script, although publications continued. However, there was a considerable rise of interest in the system in the 1990s, as technological solutions were found for the problems of unwieldiness and it is now seen as an excellent alternative for those who lose their sight having already learnt to read. Publications in Moon-type are rarely encountered, as their bulkiness, and the period of relative abeyance in Moon training has meant that they were largely discarded.

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Oblong octavo. 12 leaves of embossed heavy brown paper, in original brown printed wrappers, printed label to front cover.


Wrappers a little torn and creased. A very good copy.


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