In Pursuit of a Vision > Case 1 > Thomas > Be Merry and Wise...


The Details:

Be Merry and Wise; or, the Cream of the Jests, and Marrow of Maxims, for the Conduct of Life. Published for the Use of all Good Little Boys and Girls. By Tommy Trapwit.First edition. Worcester: Isaiah Thomas and E. Battelle, 1786. [catalog record]

Gift of Isaiah Thomas, 1812.

The Story:

This joke book is part of the Youth’s Library, a set of children’s books published by Isaiah Thomas. Thevolumes in the set were the only juvenile books (of the many that Thomas published) which he included in his foundational gift. This omission is interesting when considered in light of Thomas’s wide-reaching style of collecting for the Society – he gathered printed ephemera, broadsides, and pamphlets, but chose not to preserve many examples of his publishing for children.

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