New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887.
Hardcover. “There are forces around us, and among us, which I shall ask you to call fairies, and these are ten thousand times more wonderful, more magical, and more beautiful in their work, than those of the old fairy tales. They, too, are invisible, and many people live and die without ever seeing them or caring to see them.” This introduction to science is the work of Arabella Burton Buckley (1840-1929), who at the age of twenty-four started her eleven-year tenure as secretary to influential geologist Charles Lyell and who after his death became a science educator in her own right, lecturing, editing such prominent scientific treatises as Mary Somerville's Connexion of the Physical Sciences (1877) and Heinrich Leutemann's Animals from Life (1887), and writing imaginative introductory science books like this one, which, The Times wrote, "deserves to take a permanent place in the literature of youth." Through her books, Arabella Buckley promoted the study of natural science by showing children that “science is full of beautiful pictures, of real poetry, and of wonder-working fairies.” This truly enchantingly written, charmingly bound, and beautifully illustrated primer encompasses ten lectures on the sun, atmosphere, water, sound waves, the life cycle of a flower, coal, and bees, all abundantly illustrated throughout in engravings that range from the fanciful to the scientific.
7 1/2" X 5 1/4". viii, 244pp, plus eight pages of ads. Bound in dark brown cloth, lettered in gilt, with fairies and sprites stamped in gilt and black to upper board and spine. Moderate wear to binding, with corners turned in, bumping to tail of spine, and small closed tears to head and tail of spine. Mild soiling and faint staining to brown endpapers, with inscription dated 1887 to front free endpaper. Board of Education of New York City stamped to title page, dated 1887. Hinges tender and text block a bit shaken, with some gatherings proud and uneven. Binding remains quite sound. Small closed tear to upper margin of pages 3 to 6. Occasional smudge to margin, else pages are clean and unmarked. Abundantly illustrated in engraved figures and vignettes throughout. Good. Item #6278