Children’s literature has a long history of being ‘entertaining and instructing’. I’ve taken this week’s blog title from a specific chapbook: The Entertaining and Instructing History of Little Jack. This copy belongs to Glasgow University Library’s Special Collections, and I am very grateful for their permission to include some images from their Scottish children’s chapbooks here.
I first came across children’s chapbooks myself while working alongside David Hopkin, on chapbooks and broadsides for adults. As part of a teaching project, we digitised two hundred items from the David Murray collection: http://www.gla.ac.uk/0t4/~dumfries/files/layer2/glasgow_broadside_ballads/. I noticed one or two titles which might appeal to children—a version of ‘Cinderella’, for instance, as ‘Catskin’, and mentions of pieces such as ‘Aladdin, or the Magical Lamp’.