The Peacock "At Home"

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Author: Catherine Ann Turner Dorset

DORSET, Catherine Ann Turner. The Peacock “At Home.” A sequel to the Butterfly’s Ball. Written by A Lady. And illustrated with elegant engravings. London: J. Harris, 1808. 16mo, 16pp. Paper wrappers pictorially printed. 6 hand-colored engravings. Light edgewear, somewhat rubbed and toned, one-inch split where cover folds near spine on front cover, price handwritten in ink at top of front wrapper, with a bookplate from children’s book historian d’Alte Aldridge Welch affixed to verso of front cover, minor intermitted foxing and handsoiling. Overall, a nice copy of this scarce, fragile book.

“New Edition” being issued one year after the first and featuring hand-colored engravings. A direct sequel to William Roscoe’s The Butterfly’s Ball (being commissioned by the publisher due to the extreme popularity of that title), this book was one of the most popular children’s books of the era. The beginning of the poem summarizes the tale of Roscoe’s story in which a group of insects hold a ball, but goes on to introduce the Peacock, who insists that birds can hold a much more fashionable party. Sending out invitations for a party to be held on Saint Valentine’s Day, we are treated to a detailed chronicling of all the festivities. With six hand-colored engravings, this early children’s book is a delight.