Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Chapbooks: For the middling and mechanicks

Newbury's Pretty Little Pocketbook (1744/1787).

               While searching for references on trap-ball, stool-ball, and rounders (predecessors of cricket and baseball) I came across a collection of chapbooks (a corruption of cheap books) at the Ball State Library. (LINK).  The chapbook spanned all sorts of topics from childrens' literature, religious and political tracts, and...the 18thc century version of the racy novel and was from 8 to 32 pages (one sheet or less).   It is well recorded that the Bible, Robinson Crusoe, Pilgrim's Progress and Foxe's Book of Martyrs were the most widely owned books in the Americas, but perhaps a trademan, soldier, or market hunter might have had one of these in his pocket.  Its very likely. 

University of Guelph, Scotland  (Link)

Nesbitt Chapbook Room, University of Pittsburgh (Link)



No comments:

Post a Comment