The size of Lowth’s grammars

Lowth’s grammars were published in two, sometimes three different sizes, mostly quarto and octavo. Noel Osselton wrote to me about this as follows: "Is it true that 12mo schoolbooks (roughly 12 x 11 cm, or 26 x 11 cm when lying open) were favoured at that time because they fitted well into the available space remaining at the top of a pupil’s desk? What would have been the usual dimensions of a pupil’s desk at a well-founded school in the 1760’s?" This is a very interesting point indeed. Does anyone know where I can find more information about the size of school desks in the eitheenth century?

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  1. Karlijn

    You might want to get in touch with the Museum of Childhood at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London http://www.vam.ac.uk/moc/collections/childcare/furniture/index.html (According to their website “The Museum’s collection of children’s furniture is probably the largest in the UK, with over one hundred pieces”). Other useful websites are the Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh http://www.cac.org.uk/, The Sudbury Hall-National Trust-Museum of Childhood http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-findaplace/w-sudburyhallmuseumofchildhood/, The Ragged School Museum http://www.raggedschoolmuseum.org.uk/home.shtml, museum of Education, Glasgow http://www.clyde-valley.com/Glasgow/museumed.htm, and The Museum of the History of Education, Leeds http://www.24hourmuseum.org.uk/museum_gfx_en/AM15424.html

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