The Holy Bible Abridged and Illustrated in New York in 1792
The Holy Bible Abridged; or, The History of the Old and New Testament. Illustrated with Notes and Adorned with Cuts, for the Use of Children.
New York: Printed by William Durrell, 1792. (BRB0230)
First printed in America in 1782, at least two dozen editions of this small volume of illustrated Bible stories for children appeared in the United States during the eighteenth century. The work has thirty-two woodcut illustrations, including the unusual frontispiece (on display) showing Adam and Eve encountering the dead body of Abel while Cain prepares to flee. This copy is in a publisher’s shingle (thin wooden) binding with a later protective covering of striped cloth.
The anonymous author of these abridged stories writes in the preface that to interest children in the study of the Bible, “he has selected such portions of the Scriptures as are both instructive and entertaining: such as will not only feed the fancy, but mend the heart, and establish in the mind those unalterable laws of the Deity, which lead us to the knowledge of himself, which cement us together in Society, and which our happiness both in this life and the next must absolutely depend.”