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A Compendium of Useful Knowledge.

TRUSLER (The Rev. Dr. John).

TRUSLER (The Rev. Dr. John).

A Compendium of Useful Knowledge, Containing A concise Explanation of every thing a young Man ought to know, to enable him to converse on all general Topics. Addressed to Youth of Both Sexes, from Fourteen Years of Age to Twenty. Giving a General Idea of The World, The Nature and End of Man, Arts and Sciences, Trade and Commerce, The Appearances in the Heavens, Natural History, The Government of this Country, Different Classes of Men, viz. Nobility, Clergy, Judges, &c. The Army and Navy, The Courts of Law, &c. &c. See the Index. A Practical Book for the Use of Schools.

First Edition. 12mo. [179 x 106 x 19 mm]. [4]ff, 162, [6] pp. Bound in contemporary calf, smooth spine divided into six panels by gilt fillets, lettered in the second on a red goatskin label, plain endleaves and edges. (A little rubbed).
London: printed for the Author, and Sold by R. Baldwin, Pater-Noster Row, 1784.

Priced at "Three Shillings and Six-Pence Bound". The title is followed by an Advertisement leaf, a leaf of Errors and a leaf advertising 12 of Trusler's works. There is a closed tear at the centre of pp.49-50 and pencil marks and notes on p48 and p.71. A few minor spots but a good copy.

ESTC records only three copies of this first edition, at Oxford, Harvard and the University of Notre Dame. It notes that there is a 76pp Appendix, with separate pagination, but it was never present in this copy (the final word of the Index is "Finis") and nor is it present in the Notre Dame copy. A second edition was published in 1788 (British Library, National Library of Scotland, UCLA and University of Chicago), a third in 1794 (British Library, National Library of Wales, Oxford) and a fourth with a Bath imprint but no date [c.1800] (British Library). None of these later editions contain an Appendix. In 1797 Trusler published A Compendium of Sacred History, for the Use of Schools; a sequel to Trusler's Compendium of Useful Knowledge.

In typical Trusler fashion the Advertisement reads: "The Author begs Leave to say, that the Contents of this Volume are such as nine tenths of the better Kind of People are wholly unacquainted with, of Course, it will prove as useful and amusing to them, as to Youth. That it is penned in an easy intelligible Stile, and rendered as entertaining as informing. It is not crouded with a Heap of dry, unnecessary Matter, so as to make each Subject a Study, but every thing is treated in a Way familiar, clear and concise, and nothing advanced but on the first Authorities".

Stock no. ebc3798

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Price: £750