Surprise Stunt Riding
This wood engraving illustrates a religious novel that is essentially a cautionary tale against cruel school boy practical jokes. In this case, the hero Willie is riding a horse at an academy event; unbeknownst to him, the bully George has used a whistle to signal the horse to rear up on his hind legs, causing Willie to fall and get seriously hurt. Many books for boys published during the nineteenth century stress the moral importance of treating fellow humans and animals with decency. The author Warren Ives Bradley (“Glance Gaylord”) himself was a young man; he died in 1868 at age twenty one.
Adopted by Mark Spuria in memory of Joseph