The History of Sandford and Merton by Thomas Day

The History of Sandford and Merton - Thomas Day

Find the book at Gutenberg here (note that some versions have illustrations), and wikipedia page here. If you want to read about the eccentric author, his wikipedia page is here.

 

Short version: hugely popular children's book published in 1783, it's not really a history the way we think of it but instead a series of stories. Heavy themes like "how one becomes a gentleman" - so lots of stories with An Obvious Moral - which is why the Victorians loved this (and ate it up with a runcible spoon). The author, like many others of his time, admired Jean-Jacques Rousseau, so there are some Rousseau-ish ideas within as well.

(Sept 6, 2013) It's thanks to another GRfolk, Bettie's review of How to Create the Perfect Wife: Britain's Most Ineligible Bachelor and his Enlightened Quest to Train the Ideal Mate - or adding the book to a shelf prior to review - which made me look up the author and then this book - and well, that's the random way you sometimes find yourself reading odd books you'd never heard of the day before.

 

[Will update this when I eventually get time to read this one.]