Catalog Archive
Auction 158, Lot 443

Rare Geography Book Written in Verse

"A Rhyming Geography for Little Boys and Girls Adapted for Home Instruction and for Junior Classes in Schools",

Subject: Geography Books

Period: 1873 (published)


Color: Printed Color

5 x 6.3 inches
12.7 x 16 cm

In this charming British geography book, Reverand Alex Mackay laments, "After all that has been done of late years to render the study of Geography easy and agreeable, it is almost incredible how ill-informed most people are." His solution, of course, is a geography book written entirely in rhyming verses, with footnotes included to "aid the youthful pupil in comprehending the allusions contained in the text." The book includes 7 maps - world, Europe, England & Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Asia, and Africa - each accompanied by numerous pages of verse describing the geography, climate, produce, populations, native animals, and more. A portion of the text on the British Isles follows:

Our world-wide commerce peerless is,
Our fleets all seas command;
Our manufactur'd articles
All nations now demand.

All this is but auxiliary
In rend'ring Britian "great;"
For truth, and liberty, and law
Are here enthron'd in state.

Published by Bell & Bradfute in Edinburgh and by Simpkin, Marshall & Co. in London. 154 pp. with preface, table of contents, and 6 pp. of advertisements. Hardbound in original brown cloth with gilt titling and globe on front cover.


Condition: B+

The maps are all very good with a few spots of foxing and minor toning along the centerfold on a couple of the maps. The world map is slightly more foxed and is detached. The text is fairly loose, and is lightly toned with occasional foxing and soiling. The hinges are perished and the covers are moderately stained.

Estimate: $275 - $350

Sold for: $200

Closed on 6/22/2016