The Child’s Guide to Knowledge: being a collection of useful and familiar questions and answers on every-day subjects, adapted for young persons, and arranged in the most simple language. By a lady.
by Fanny Umpelby
published in 1848
Moralistic books for home consumption were very often written, or rather compiled by authors who helped themselves shamelessly, and sometimes without acknowledgement , to extracts from standard scientific works; and in order to make dry facts more palatable, regurgitated them in the form of a conversation between an intelligent child and a learned adult. The practice of imparting information by means of questions and answers continued throughout the 19th Century. The Child’s Guide to Knowledge is one of the most extraordinary examples, composed of a chaotic mixture of unrelated facts – extraordinary because it remained in favour for so long; this edition dates from 1848, but there are also copies in the collection that were printed in 1907, the 62nd reprint.
“Q. What is sugar?
A. The juice of a certain cane, first brought from China to the West Indies where it now flourishes.
Q. Where are the West Indies?
A. A group of islands between North and South America.”
Funding required for restoration: £220.00