Do you want to become an Accomplished Young Person too? Or do you just want to read more of the books I mention in my posts? I’ll be adding to this bibliography as I discover more resources. Many full texts are available online!

Primary Sources – dating to Jane Austen’s Era

Women’s Education and Accomplishments

  • The Polite Lady; or, A course of female education: in a series of letters, from a mother to her daughter. Anonymous, 1798 Google Books Full Text
  • The Female Instructor; Or, Young Woman’s Companion: Being a Guide to All the Accomplishments which Adorn the Female Character … with Many Pleasing Examples of Illustrious Females. To which are Added Useful Medicinal Receipts, and a Concise System of Cookery. 1811. Google Books Full Text
  • Private Education; Or, A Practical Plan for the Studies of Young Ladies: With an Address to Parents, Private Governesses, and Young Ladies. Elizabeth Appleton (Lachlan), 1815. Google Books Full Text.
  • Mentoria: or, The young ladies instructor, in familiar conversations. Ann Murray, 1778. 10th ed, 1807 Google Books Full Text
  • Strictures on the modern system of female education, with a view of the principles and conduct prevalent among women of rank and fortune. Hannah More, 1799. Republished as The Accomplished Lady, 1838 Google Books Full Text
  • Mrs Leicester’s school : the history of several Young Ladies related by themselves. <Mary and Charles Lamb. c. 1800. 4th ed, 1814 Google Books Full Text

General Education

  • The Young Man’s Best Companion; or, Self Instructor; containing reading, writing, and arithmetic … merchants’ accompts, book-keeping … likewise a description of England and Wales, and general observations on gardening for every month in the year; to which is added a treatise on shorthand, a compendium of the sciences of geography and astronomy … and an introductory essay on the importance of knowledge. Dr. Parkins, 1811. Google Books Full Text
  • The Young Man’s Best Companion and Guide to Useful Knowledge. John Dougall, 1815. (Many parts of this later Best Companion appear to by rewordings of the 1811 Companion above. Of course, both could be plagiarized from an earlier source!) Google Books Full Text
  • Every man his own teacher: or, Lancaster’s theory of education, practically displayed; being an introduction to arithmetic, written in thirteen parts. To which are annexed thirty-two cards of lessons, to be suspended in the school-room conformably to the Lancaster plan. John Preston, 1817. Google Books Full Text

Handwriting and Pens

  • The young clerk’s assistant; or, Penmanship made easy, instructive and entertaining: being a compleat pocket-copy-book, neatly engrav’d for the practice of youth in the art of writing. George Bickham, 1787 Google Books Full Text (Not a very good scan. Dover Books carries a reprint of the 1733 edition under the title Penmanship Made Easy.)
  • The Art of Writing reduced to a plain and easy System on a plan entirely new, in seven books. John Jenkins, 1813.  Internet Archive Full Text
  • L’Art d’Ecrire par Alais, J.-B. Alais de Beaulieu, 1680. Bibliotheque Nationale de France page scans
  • “Manufacture of Pens By Dr. Faraday, 27th March.”  Records of General Science. pp 397-399, May 1835. Internet Archive Full Text
  • “Steel Pens”, The Gentleman’s Magazine. p. 524, May 1835, N.S. Vol. 3. Google Books Full Text
  • Recueil. L’Art d’écrire (Recueil) par Bedigis, etc. (A scrapbook of several French treatises and plates relating to writing, dating from the 1760s to c. 1810) Bibliotheque Nationale de France page scans

Drawing and Painting

  • A series of progressive lessons, intended to elucidate the art of landscape painting in water colours (2d edition). Anonymous, 1812. Open Library Full Text
  • The art of drawing in its various branches : exemplified in a course of twenty-eight progressive lessons, calculated to afford those who are unacquainted with the art, the means of acquiring a competent knowledge without the aid of a master : being the only work of the kind in which the principles of effect are explained in a clear, methodical, and at the same time familiar style. Thomas Smith, 1827. Full Text
  • Introductory Lessons with Familiar Examples in Landscape, for the Use of Those who are Desirous of Gaining Some Knowledge of the Pleasing Art of Painting in Water Colours; to which are added some clear and simple rules, exemplified by suitable sketches and more finished paintings. As this work is chiefly intended for the mere beginner, the rules are both familiar and progressive. To which are added, Instructions for executing Transparencies, in a style both novel and easy, James Roberts. W. Bulmer & Co: 1800.  Google Books Full Text

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

  • The New Spelling Dictionary; Teaching to Write and Pronounce the English Tongue with Ease and Propriety, by John Entick, 1764. (many subsequent editions: 1780 Google Books Full Text; 1791 Google Books Full Text; Also published in the US, slightly adapted: 1812 Google Books Full Text)
  • A General Pronouncing and Explanatory Dictionary of the English Language by Stephen Jones, 1804. Google Books Full Text
  • Encyclopedia Perthensis; or Universal Dictionary of Knowledge, Collected from Every Source; and intended to supersede the use of all other English books of reference. (23 volumes, some available as Google Books Full Texts: Vol. XVIII)
  • A General Dictionary of Commerce, Trade, and Manufactures; Exhibiting thier Present State in Every Part of the World; and Carefully Compiled from the Latest and Best Authorities, by Thomas Mortimer, Esq. 1810. Google Books Full Text

Secondary Sources- Modern scholarship about Jane Austen’s Era

  •  Jane Austen’s England. (published in the UK as Eavesdropping on Jane Austen’s England) Roy and Lesley Adkins, 2013. Google Books Preview
  • The Golden Thread: the Story of Writing. Ewan Clayton, 2013. Google Books Preview
  • “Without a Borrowed Hand: The Beginnings of American Penmanship” by Robert Williams. In the Society of Scribes Journal. (PDF Download at Society of Scribes). This article puts John Jenkins’ Art of Writing into historical context as an early example of a new American concept of handwriting instruction.
  • Samplers, Rebecca Scott. Shire Publications, 2009. Google Books Page (No Preview)
  • Crafting the Woman Professional in the Long Nineteenth Century: Artistry and Industry in Britain, edited by Kyriaki Hadjiafxendi and Patricia Zakreski. Ashgate, 2013. Google Books Preview (See esp. John Plunkett’s piece on transparencies)
  • Devices of wonder: from the world in a box to images on a screen, edited by Barbara Maria Stafford and Frances Terpak. Getty Publications: 2001. (This exhibit catalogue covers centuries of developments in the technology of ‘wonders’, including optical technology of Jane Austen’s era such as magic lanterns, panoramas, and portable camere obscure.) Google Books Page (No Preview)
  • The Gentleman’s Daughter: Women’s Lives in Georgian England. Amanda Vickery1998. Google Books Preview
  • Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England. Amanda Vickery, 2009. Google Books Preview

One thought on “Sources

I welcome your comments and questions!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s