Addenda to the published volume The Dartons: Publishers of Educational Aids, Pastimes & Juvenile Ephemera, 1787-1876. A Bibliographic Checklist. Together with a description of the Darton Archive as held by the Cotsen Children ’s Library, Princeton University Library & A brief history of printed teaching aids.
Cotsen Occasional Press, 2009.
h2155 Keep within compass and you shall be sure, to escape many troubles that others endure. William Darton. [BM P&D (2009,7111.1); Cotsen (63498) //
Hand-colored sheet (26.6 × 42.7cm.) printed from an engraved plate. Date range 1819 – 1830.
Two oval engravings are printed side by side: on the left, a man of property with a sack of money labeled ‘Reward of industry ’, his riding crop, and his hunting dog, with a substantial house visible in the background; on the right, a woman, also well dressed, feeding fowl. Each figure stands within the spread of a partially open compass, at the top of which are the words ‘Fear God ’. Other maxims are engraved in the corners of the sheet. Although moral in nature, this may have been intended for a general, rather than a specifically juvenile, audience. Prints on this subject were published by several booksellers in the late eighteenth century and remained popular.
The Cotsen copy was formerly in the collection of Lawrence Harvey Darton.
h2201 The matrimonial ladder. W. Darton. [Bod. Johnson (Valentines 19) // Advt.
Two cards (15.7 × 6.6cm.) printed from copperplates, each cut to form a ladder tied at the top with green silk ribbon ties. Date range 1819 – 1830.
Still being advertised in Darton and co.’s trade catalogue for 1849, where it appears in the list Cards, Various as ‘on cards, a chimney ornament ’, selling for 6d.
In 1820, during the divorce proceedings between George IV and Queen Caroline, William Hone published a satirical pamphlet in support of the queen entitled The queen’s matrimonial ladder: a national toy, with fourteen step scenes; and illustrations in verse (Cohn 680). It was accompanied by a toy ladder by George Cruikshank illustrating the stages of the royal relationship. This may have sparked a fashion for such novelties. A similar ladder designed by one of the Cruikshanks with maxims printed on each rung and bordered by humorous vignettes is in Osborne. The stages represented on that ladder are: admiration, flirtation, approbation, declaration, hesitation, agitation, acceptation, solemnization; possession, rumination, alteration, irritation, disputation, desperation, detestation, and separation. Despite being advertised in a list of cards for children, the content suggests it was not necessarily intended for juvenile use.
With thanks to the Cotsen Family Foundation.