Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale, first edition, 1972,hardback, with dust-jacket. Cloth, cover illustration, 4to, 29 cm, x, 296 pp, 38 pp in colour. From the blurb: "While one cannot be certain of the total number of rhyming alphabets published in the past century, the hundred alphabets in this volume represent but a small portion of those in Ruth Baldwin's library. Although most of the alphabets reproduced here were published in the early part of the latter half of the nineteenth century, they well represent as a whole this first era of large-scale children's book publishing. Most of the alphabets included are anonymous, but some were illustrated - and in certain cases written as well - by such famous artists and illustrators as Greenaway, Walter Crane, and Edward Lear. No effort has been made to establish exact dates of publication, much less the edition or chronological sequence since to do so properly would be almost impossible and beyond the scope of this book. Because of the anonymous nature of most of the material in this book, the alphabets have been grouped thematically under such topics as children's names, nature, animals, farm life, gardening and flowers, trades, goodness and scripture, and travel. Variations on three classic alphabets -A Was an Apple Pie," "A Was an Angler," and "A Was an Archer"- which go back many centuries in the oral tradition, have been arranged together. There are also miscellaneous alphabets with a single thought for each letter as well as those where each letter stands for many things. Most remarkable, perhaps, is the fact that neither the alphabets nor their illustrations were reprinted from one book to another with the same frequency as the stories were."