Virtual Children's Books Exhibits


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10.  Samuel William Partridge.  The Mother's Alphabet.  Dedicated by Her Majesty's Permission to H.R.W. the Princess Beatrice.  Engraved by James Johnston after Henry Anelay.  London: Office of The Children's Friend, ca. 1864.

Raising a large kite might require a group of boys (dogs are also shown as team members in many children's book illustrations).  Big kites, which were usually made of fabric, could be outfitted with very long tails and tassels to steady them during flight.  While such a kite could be flown solo, books warned that the operator was in danger of being lifted off the ground. This was probably an exciting prospect to boys in Victorian England, who may well have read about such developments as Father E.J. Cordner's 1864 patent for a system of hexagonal kites designed to lift passengers to safety on land after a shipwreck.