eglantine_br (eglantine_br) wrote,

Check this out

At my childhood home we had many books from the 1860's through 1880s. they had belonged to my grandmother, and her sisters, and her mother, when they were kids. I often used to read them. They mostly seemed to feature kids doing naughty things-- going skating when forbidden to do so, or being careless around fire, or refusing to eat what was put before them, and dying as a result. Sometimes a large brave dog rushed in to save them at the last moment, and the dog died instead. That was worse.

There was also a copy of the American Boys Handibook. It told you how to make a snow fort, and how to kill an owl and stuff it with arsenic to preserve it. Also how to make really great kites and rowboats, and sailor knots, and paper bags full of fire that would rise into the night sky. (My mom and brother did that last.)

There was a Girls Handibook too. It ran mostly to sewing, and dolls. It did have a good section on making theatrical shows at home, and how to do really great shadow puppets. And it  did have a section on tobogganing which was nice. (But the boys book showed how to build the toboggan, starting with a big tree and an axe!)

I assumed, as a kid that most families had both books. Probably true. I liked reading both. I was no good at sewing, and never stuffed a dead owl.

Anyway, this book is just a little earlier. I think it is rather sweet. it is supposed to be what we would now call an 'early reader..'
Tags: childhood, family
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