Quarto, 24 issues bound in two volumes (210 x 160 mm.), full contemporary publisher’s cloth, with black embossed country scene on covers, with gilt decoration and title, spine with black embossed decoration and gilt title, second volume binding weak, final few leaves of second volume poor. With 24 monthly parts of 16 pages each, pp. (2), 190; (2), 190, with 40 woodcut maps forming part of a leaf of text and other images, otherwise in good condition.
The Children’s Friend was first published in 1824 as a monthly magazine aimed at the moral probity of children. Each issue consisted of sixteen pages and cost one penny. From March 1868 a series of county maps were published. They formed part of a woodblock puzzle page with county map upper left. The remainder of the page is a combination of hieroglyphics and text to test the child’s abilities. The maps themselves contain little information. Following on from its success the Wesleyan Conference published a further series under the title Early Days.
The issue for January 1883 began with Bedfordshire and apart from 6 issues towards the end without maps, it was completed in October 1886 with that of Yorkshire. Some maps in the series bear the initials J. P. possibly indicating the engraver. They are yet to be identified. The solutions to the puzzles usually appear in the following month’s issue. Many, if not all of the counties were repeated in this later work, others are from a newly engraved block. It did however only re-issue those of England. Wales, Scotland and Ireland are omitted, at least in this time period. Batton & Bennett (2010) 158; Carroll (1996) 128.