JF Ptak Science Books Post 1290 Continuing the post 1285
"Taking the Scarecrows out of Wisdoms Gardens"
This is Part 6/7 of John Comenius' great work, the first illustrated instructional to children, first written in 1676 and then translated into English in 1726--it is from this translation that all of the images (below) are taken. This is the second of seven installments on introducing 17th and 18th century children to wide ideas, the other sections including: Part 1, Occupations; Part 2, Anatomy; Part 3, Books and Book Arts; Part 4, the Sciences; Part 5, Morals and Philosophy; Part 6, Games and the Arts; and Part 7, the Military.
The work itself: John Amos Comenius' Orbis Senfualium Piélus: Omnium Principalium in Mundo Rerun/ &f m Vita АШопит, translated as Pictura et Nomenclatur, the Visible World, or A Nomenclature, and Pictures of all Chief Things that are int he World, translated into English by Charles Hoof...1726.
The purpose of the book, writes the translator in the introduction of the 1726 12th edition, is:
To entice witty children to it, that they may not conceit a torment to be in the school, but dainty/are., For it is apparent, that children (even from their infancy almost) are delighted with Pictures, and willingly please their eyes with these fights: And it will be very well worth the pains to have once brought it to pafs, that fcare-crows may be taken away out of Wifdom's Gardens..."
Even at this early stage of publishing books for children it was easily recognized that children learn better when eased into their subject with pictures. This is not so far off the mark with the moderns, and in its own way a precursor to the Dick and Jane and Dr. Seuss books--not so much for subject matter, but for the very act of putting a book into the hands of a child and getting them comfortable wit the idea of reading. It seems to me that this is by far the most important lesson-the actual content at tis point is secondary to the act of holding a book.
In a Play-houie, i. fivhich is trimmed ivith Hangings, 2. andcoveredivith Curtains,3.) Comedies and Tragedies are ailed, ivherein memorable things ere reprejented; as here, the Hißory of the Prodigal Sun, 4. and his Father, 5. hy килnm he is en/ertaiu'd, heing return d home. The Players kß heing in difguife; the Fool, 6. makith Jtßs.