New York: Robert Sears, 1860. Hardcover. Octavo size, 496 pp., the twenty-third edition (printing). Very good +. Item #19102209
In the mid- to late-1800s, almost everyone in the country was religious and the scriptures were studied by many - especially on Sunday, the "day of rest". This volume would have been intended to be used as an aid to that study, with the publisher including "several hundred engravings on wood" (per the title page) to enliven such study which are "illustrative of scripture scenes, manners, customs, etc."
As the title page continues, this book is "practically adapted to the instruction of youth and private families" and offers, in addition to the biographical information, "an Appendix containing thirty dissertations on the evidence of divine revelation from Timpson's Key to the Bible; being a complete summary of Biblical knowledge".
___DESCRIPTION: Bound in full salmon pebbled cloth, both boards with an elaborate decorative debossed border, the front board with a gilt vignette of a globe surrounded by four reclining figures, an angel above the globe holding out a scroll with the letters "The Gospel", a gilt banner above the angel with "Sear's Bible Biography", another gilt banner beneath the globe "with numerous engravings", the back board with a smaller gilt vignette, this of (presumably) Jesus standing beneath a palm tree, arms upraised, with children kneeling at his feet, the spine lettered and decorated in gilt, yellow coated endpapers, tissue-guarded frontispiece of "Dr. Doddridge's Mother teaching him Scripture History by the Dutch Tiles" (surrounding a fireplace) (Dr. Philip Doddridge was a then highly-regarded Congregationalist minister, teacher and writer of hymns), this followed by a decorative title page with an older date of 1856, this followed by the standard title page with the actual publication date of 1860 and stating "twenty-third edition", publisher's ads at the rear; octavo size (9" by 6.25"), pagination: frontis and decorative title page (not included in pagination), [1-3] 4-491,  an illustration of the publisher's building ("American Pictorial Book Establishment"), [493-496] being three pages of publisher's ads followed by one page of reviews for this work. Loosely laid into the book is a four-page leaflet dated May, 1873 of "Bible Lessons, The International Series, Published by the Bible and Publication Society", apparently left there by a prior owner.
___CONDITION: Better than very good, with clean boards, straight corners, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, and the interior is clean and bright; some rubbing to the corners, the spine is sunned with fraying to the cloth at both the head and the tail, and with some seemingly vintage prior owner markings in light pencil on the front pastedown and the front free endpaper. The "Bible Lessons" leaflet also very good, clean and without edgewear, but with multiple shallow vertical folds.
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