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The Boy's True Joy: Being the Histories of…
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The Boy's True Joy: Being the Histories of Frederick and Frank, or, the…

by Mary Durang

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As you might assume from the title, this is a typical Victorian moralistic book for children. The "six colored engravings" are actually plain engravings, roughly and inexpertly painted with watercolors. Looking at them makes me think of the poor woman or child who had been hired for pennies a day by the publisher to add the splashes of red, green, yellow and blue. Since chromolithography wouldn't be invented until the mid-1860s, this was about the only way for children to have colored pictures in their story books. As a book, this is nothing a modern child would look at for more than a minute: the story is dull, laden with plenty of informative lectures from Father about the world's wonders and with lots of moralizing by the author; no child ever behaved as these children behave, and nor did any dog. Interesting as a rather streaky window into another era. ( )
  emmelisa | Mar 19, 2008 |
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