A game devised to educate young children in some of the basic facts of English history, the accompanying booklet supplying a concise account of events during the reign of each monarch. It was originally provided with an eight-sided dice and twelve letters for players to select, which have not survived. The rules give the directions for the appropriate fines and rewards which apply to each space landed on. These involved payments of cash, the winner ‘who arrives first at the Treasury,’ took the stakes and all remaining forfeits. John Harris (1756-1846) managed and then took over the Juvenile publishing business of Elizabeth Newbery in 1801, selling it in 1843. John Wallis founded his firm in 1775; after his death in 1818 it was taken over by his son, Edward, continuing until 1847. Historical Pastime first appeared in 1802 and was regularly updated with the changing monarchs until the reign of Queen Victoria. (Moon, John Harris’s Books for Youth 1801-1843, 1031; Hannas, The English Jigsaw Puzzle 1760 to 1890).
Folio. 19 x 19 inches. Booklet, 12mo. 4 x 5.75 inches. 24 ppGame has 133 numbered playing spaces culminating in large oval portrait of William IV. Some wear and foxing of playing surface, slipcase rubbed and fraying of lower edge of booklet not affecting main text; otherwise a very good copy.
Author WALLIS. E. and HARRIS, J.
Date [n.d.] but c.1831.
Publisher London, E. Wallis, No. 42 Skinner Street and J. Harris and Son, St. Paul’s Church Yard.
Illustrator . Folding hand coloured, engraved and printed playing surface, dissected into twelve sections and mounted on to linen, in stiff card marbled slipcase with coloured printed paper label.