Book of the Week — A New Hieroglyphical Bible, for the Amusement and Instruction of Children

BS560-H54-1818-pg32spread“…so also can nothing be more unprofitable, than the too customary mode of charging the infant memory with verses, or even chapters of abstract doctrines, or passages, about the true meaning of which, schoolmen themselves have hitherto been divided in opinion.” — from the Preface

A New Hieroglyphical Bible, for the Amusement and Instruction of Children
Alexander Anderson (1775-1870)
New York: Published by Samuel Wood & Sons, And Samuel W. Wood & Co…Baltimore, 1818
BS560 H54 1818

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Hieroglyphic Bibles were a natural development from emblem books, in which often complex visual images served as emblems for intellectual or aesthetic ideas presented as moral or religious lessons. The first one was published in Augsburg in 1687. French and Dutch editions followed in the eighteenth century. The first English edition appeared fairly late, but it was followed by at least thirteen other editions before the end of the eighteenth century. The first American hieroglyphic Bible was published in 1788 by Isaiah Thomas.

Alexander Anderson has been called the father of wood engraving in America, and was certainly one of its masters. His work included prints, almanacs, fiction, travel, children’s books, Bibles, religious tracts, medical texts, and broadsides.


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