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BLANCHARD, Pierre

Les accidents de l'enfance   Paris: P.C. Lehuby, n.d. but ca 1840

8vo. 216 pp. With half-title, frontispiece, and 11 additional lithographed plates. Blue cloth, elaborately decorated in colour, gilt, and blind on covers and spine, corners slightly bumped, gilt edges; minor spotting in the text. A charming copy with the 1856 ownership inscription of Henri Carrelet and small stamp of Comte Carrelet on title. $450.00

A colourful work containing individual short stories depicting terrible accidents brought on by the actions of children. Some stories end happily, such as the overly confident boy who dared to torment a bull. He finds himself nearly gored by the bull when he is flung into the air and thrown; his fall is fortunately broken by a haystack, and as a result he developed a healthy sense of fear towards animals that can take their revenge on over-confident young boys. Another such story does not end so pleasantly. Finette, a little girl obsessed with her own beauty, sneaks into her mother's room to try on her jewelry but perishes when she ends up setting fire to herself trying to look in the mirror over the fireplace. Other accidents involve boiling water, knives and scissors, playing on the roof of the house, broken windows, and angry bees. Works like this were common in the nineteenth century as ways of frightening children into minding their manners.

Blanchard (1772-1856), a French author of children's literature, was most well-known for his works on proper conduct, manners, and behavior of children. In contrast to this title, he wrote a book about model behavior for children with examples of notable features and virtuous actions.


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