Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song-Book, The First Collection of English Nursery Rhymes, A Facsimile Edition with a History and Annotations.
IMMEL, Andrea and Brian Alderson.
Los Angeles: Cotsen Occasional Press, 2013,
First Edition, Limited to 500 copies. quarto plus three miniatures, 3.625 x 2.25" quarto volume plus matching clamshell in cloth; three miniatures in silk. xv, 121 pp; facsimiles: 68, 66, 66 pp. Cotsen Occasional Press, New. Item #26589
boxed set which includes Alderson and Immel's scholarly work on the history and legacy of Tommy Thumb's Pretty Little Song Book (two volumes), and The Pretty Book, that includes full-size facsimile editions of each of the eighteenth-century originals. The text of the three miniature books were engraved in by George Bickham, Jr. (1706-1771) and contain the earliest printed collection of English nursery rhymes. The Pretty Book exists in only one copy; only two exist of Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book. This publication brings these 3 classic works to a wider twenty-first century audience for the first time. The tenuous existence and diminutive size of Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song-Book are in direct contrast with its importance in the history of children's book publishing. It is the earliest surviving collection of English nursery rhymes and one of the very first books printed specifically for young children. The Cotsen Children's Library's copy has never before been microfilmed or digitized and this facsimile edition creates an unprecedented opportunity for scholars and collectors to experience the book in full and "life size." The accompanying commentary volume written by Andrea Immel and Brian Alderson "seeks for the first time to pursue the book's chequered history through eighteenth-century trade channels." Three miniature full-color photo-facsimiles, bound in red, purple, and maroon silk respectively, with gilt titles on the upper covers, with a separate volume containing the essay, "Nurse Lovechild's Legacy: The History of Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song-book" and annotations to the rhymes, illustrated in color and bound in purple cloth with a gilt title on the upper cover. The quarto and the three miniatures are housed in a custom clamshell box in matching purple cloth. Designed and typeset by Patrick Reagh with the assistance of Patty Holden. Very fine, without flaw.