Author: Henry H. Vail
Release Date: April 7, 2005 [EBook #15577]
Character set encoding: ASCII
*** Start of this project gutenberg EBOOK A history of the MCGUFFEY readers ***
Produced by Kentuckiana Digital Library, David Garcia
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[Illustration: William H. McGUFFEY]
Henry H. Vail.
THE BOOKISH BOOKS—IV.
the Burrows brothers Co.
Copyright, 1911, by Henry H. Vail.
[Transcriber’s Note: At the top of each page in the original is a header line briefly describing the content on each page. In this document, these header lines have been placed inside square brackets and move to the start of the paragraph which begins the content so described.]
Before me are four small books roughly bound in boards, the sides covered with paper. On the reverse of the title pages, two bear a copyright entry in the year 1836; the others were entered in 1837. They are the earliest editions of McGuffey’s Eclectic Readers that have been found in a search lasting forty years.
They represent the first efforts in an educational and business enterprise that has for three-quarters of a century called for the best exertions of many skilled men, and in their several forms these books have taken a conspicuous part in the education of millions of the citizens of this country.
But what interest can the history of the McGuffey Eclectic Readers have to those who did not use these books in their school career? Their story differs from that of other readers since in successive forms, adjusted more or less perfectly to the changing demands of the schools, they attained a wider and more prolonged use than has been accorded to any other series.
[The Function of Readers]