London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1816.
FENWICK, Eliza. Infantine Stories. In Words of One, Two, and Three Syllables. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, 1816.
Early edition of Eliza Fenwick's educational reader for children. Twelvemo (5 3/8 x 3 3/8 inches; 138 x 86 mm). -144 pp. With frontispiece and five other engraved plates. Other than this copy, we could only find one other copy, which was a later edition (1820) at auction in over 50 years, and the American edition was not published until 1818.
Contemporary quarter green morocco over drab boards. Spine lettered and ruled in gilt. Boards and spine rubbed. Previous owner's old ink notes on front pastedown. Some toning to plates. Plate entitled "The Frenchman" with a tear to lower margin, not affecting engraving. Plate entitled "Mary's Robin-Red-Breast" with a tear on the engraving and some minor loss. Still a very good copy.
Eliza Fenwick was an author and feminist, was notably friends of Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin. She attended the birth of their daughter, Mary Wollstonecraft Goodwin (Shelley), and nursed Mary Wollstonecraft the elder on her deathbed. "Born into the centre of John Wesley's fervent religious movement, Eliza Fenwick became a key member of Mary Wollstonecraft's feminist group. She wrote arguably the finest novel among the reformist fiction of the 1790s Secresy (1795), and remarkable books for children. From financial struggle in London she went on to secure her family's survival through economic and emotional hardships in British colonies or recent colonies, which are today four different nation-states. (Eliza Fenwick. Early Modern Feminist, by Lisa Paul.)
Eliza would go on to establish schools in numerous cities in the United States and Canada. "In 1804 Eliza Fenwick began writing anonymous educational books for Benjamin Tabart’s Juvenile and School Library at 157 New Bond Street, London... Eliza Fenwick produced at least one further educational work for Tabart, Infantine Stories: Composed Progressively, in Words of One, Two, and Three Syllables (1810), which went through several editions." (Oxford DNB). This title is an interesting educational experiment as words of two or three syllables are hyphenated to simplify their reading for children.