A New Moral System of Geography, containing an Account of the different Nations ancient and modern… including a Description of each Country, and their respective Productions…. NEW MORAL SYSTEM.
A New Moral System of Geography, containing an Account of the different Nations ancient and modern… including a Description of each Country, and their respective Productions…

A New Moral System of Geography…
A New Moral System of Geography, containing an Account of the different Nations ancient and modern… including a Description of each Country, and their respective Productions…

Bath: Printed by S. Hazard, for G. Riley, London, 1790.

Square 16mo, with an engraved frontispiece, two engraved plates, four full-page woodcuts in the text and altogether 48 circular woodcut vignettes; in a simple contemporary sheep-leather binding, unlettered spine banded in gilt.

Botany Bay described for children

The extremely rare first edition of the earliest educational work to refer to settled Australia, including (p. 181 onwards) a seven-page description of Botany Bay, 'being now a part of the world allotted for civilization'. Ferguson knew only the Mitchell Library's copy of this first edition, which was printed in Bath for the London stationer George Riley, and has the series-title for the Historical Pocket Library in which series this is designated the fifth title, devoted to Geography. The final two pages of Riley's advertisements in this edition show that he was chiefly a stationer rather than a bookseller; in fact the advertisement mentions no printed books at all.

The extremely rare first edition of the earliest educational work to refer to settled Australia, including (p. 181 onwards) a seven-page description of Botany Bay, 'being now a part of the world allotted for civilization'. Ferguson knew only the Mitchell Library's copy of this first edition, which was printed in Bath for the London stationer George Riley, and has the series-title for the Historical Pocket Library in which series this is designated the fifth title, devoted to Geography. The final two pages of Riley's advertisements in this edition show that he was chiefly a stationer rather than a bookseller; in fact the advertisement mentions no printed books at all.
Ferguson also knew only the National Library's copy of the London-printed second edition of the same year, though we now know of three other copies. The London version was completely reset, with very different pagination, but used the same frontispiece (which has Riley's imprint and is dated 18 July 1789). It was printed for Riley in London but also sold by Hazard in Bath, as well as by Watson and Elder in Edinburgh.
The State Library of South Australia featured their copy of the second edition of the book in their exhibition Australia on the map 1606-2006 (online resource, evidently no longer to be found online) noting that 'the lengthy title of this little book gives a very full idea of the contents. The author writes in the Preface that every effort has been made to 'select the most interesting, and essential to give the student an idea of this indispensable science' [i.e. geography]. Also included is an overview of the solar system based on Copernicus. Within the text, the chapter on Botany Bay deals with the Aboriginal people and their food and tools, and with the kangaroo, which in 1790 still intrigued many in Europe. The frontispiece shows Britannia, lion crouched at her feet, and a globe alongside, overseeing the education of the youth of England.
'A new moral system of geography is an example of the books, along with games and dissected puzzles, which were being produced in England to stimulate the teaching of children by making learning fun. This followed John Locke's theory on learning through play that he propounded in 1693, and which was further stimulated by the work of Abbé Gaultier, a French educator who fled the French Revolution and established a school in England. Gaultier issued books and games to support his theories…'.

Ferguson, 89.

Price (AUD): $4,800.00  other currencies     Ref: #3506031

Condition Report