- Winchester: St. Paul's Bibliographies, 1987.
- cloth, dust jacket.
- xxix, 142 pages.
- ISBN: 0906795443
Price: $28.00 other currencies
Order Nr. 26560
First edition. Mary Elliott (then Mary Belson) began writing for children in 1809, at a time when increasing literacy and wealth and more progressive understanding of the reading needs of children were creating a growing demand for more and more books for young people. Beginning with two books in verse - one a lively tale about town and country mice, the other, an anthology including many of her own poems - she went on to produce a stream of books on a variety of subjects. Her stories, some eventful and exciting, were mostly about real children learning to tackle the everyday circumstances and difficulties which they encountered in the world around them.
These books were made all the more attractive by her publisher, William Darton, who provided them with entertaining illustrations, many of them interesting today for their depiction of contemporary scenes and fashions. Mary Elliott's books soon spread across the Atlantic, and American publishers reissued many of them, sometimes adapting the text to local circumstances. Although her books are now forgotten, they cannot be disregarded by researchers into the history of childhood and of children's literature. This bibliography contains about 470 entries, detailing not only each known edition of her books but also the picture-sheets, reward cards and combined volumes of assorted tales and verses.