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The English Spelling-book
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Variously a teacher, clergyman and town mayor, William Fordyce Mavor (1758-1837) wrote prolifically on a range of literary, historical and educational topics. This work, first published in 1801 and reissued here in a corrected and improved edition of 1843, is Mavor's most famous. Intended to 'sow the seeds of useful learning', it is both a reading primer and a compendium of general knowledge. Beginning with the alphabet, with each letter illustrated by the delightful wood engravings of Thomas Bewick, the book presents vocabulary of increasing complexity together with simple and amusing stories for reading practice, as well as guidance on spelling and grammar. General knowledge is addressed through sections on such topics as weights and measures, geography, key dates in history, and the solar system. So successful was the work that it ran to 500 editions, had sold more than 2 million copies by 1823, and was translated into Hindi and French.
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Table of Contents

Preface; The alphabet; Words of one syllable; Words of two syllables; Words of three syllables; Lessons in natural history; Words of four syllables; Select fables; Moral observations; Advice to young persons; Brief introduction to the arts and sciences; Outlines of geography; Survey of the universe; Select pieces of poetry; Appendix; Figures and numbers; French words and phrases; Latin words and phrases; Prayers.

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