Natural History, selected from the Youth's Friend
Cloth backed marbled boards, 16mo, 5.5 x 3.75 inches. vi, , 8-144pp. Methodist Sunday School Library bookplate to front pastedown and partial series label on spine. About Very Good, lacking flyleaves, boards abraded and worn to rounded corners. Mild foxing and fingersoil. Woodcut illustrations, primarily of individual animals and a few larger cuts, taken from the A.S.S.U. periodical, The Youth's Friend. 28 in total. An account of animals that appear in the Bible, largely citing their appearances in scripture and providing some context by describing the animal's temperament and purpose. On several occasions, illustrations are offered for figurative animals: "There is no animal now called Behemoth, and the Hebrew word is used because the translators of the Bible did not know to what animal it belonged..." Such accommodation was also made for the "Common Ass," "Onager, or Wild Ass" and "She Ass," which is not really distinguished in its illustration; wondrous lengths are also taken in the "Leviathan" illustrations.
Unattributed, copyright entered by Paul Beck. An early American Sunday School Union (founded 1824) publication that appears written to a more ambitious level of scholarship and reading comprehension than many of their later offerings. With endearing woodcuts attractive to all ages, and physical descriptions suited to young children (color, size, etc), the meat of the publication and its survey of Bible references, history, and nuances of translation, seems suited to a more mature reader. The volume concludes with an explication of the animal imagery adopted for the A.S.S.U. "Knowledge of the Lord" publisher's device, and quotes from 'The Union Primer' ("which it is hoped... will be circulated over the whole country...") in a gentle self-promotional nudge to the audience of parents they were intently courting. Scarce; 13 copies in OCLC.