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Aelfric (c. 955-1020)
Ælfric, a second-generation product of the 10th-century Benedictine monastic reform, began his career under the auspices of Æthelwold, Bishop of Winchester. Ælfric went on to become a monk at Cerne Abbas, and later became Abbot of Eynsham. He was the most prolific vernacular author of his day and his many writings are fundamental to an understanding of late Anglo-Saxon religious and didactic thoughts and practices.
Francis Seager (c. 1549-1563)
Hornbooks and Battledores
Hornbooks and battledores
The hornbook was amongst the earliest tools in the teaching of reading from at least the 16th century. It was usually a paddleshaped piece of wood with a handle, often containing a hole for twine or ribbon. To the paddle was attached a letterpress sheet on which was printed the alphabet, in both upper and lower case, and the five vowels, followed by a short syllabarium and the Lord’s Prayer. It might also contain the nine digits. The paper was covered by a thin sheet of horn.
Battledores superseded the use of hornbooks as a popular reading tool for children and were widely in use by the mid to late-eighteenth century. Although Battledores had an emphasis on the alphabet and some maintained a "paddle-like" appearance, they differed from hornbooks in several ways.
Edward Topsell (1572-1625)
About Edward Topsell
Topsell's zoological treatise described animals both real, legendary and mythical; The manticore is a legendary creature similar to the Egyptian sphinx; It has the body of a lion, tail of a dragon and a human head with three rows of sharp teeth; The manticore devours its prey whole;Little is known of Topsell's life other than that he was a clergyman and held a number of livings in southeast England. His interest in zoology appears to have been stimulated by the need to identify the various animals referred to in the Bible. The result of his researches was his Historie of Four-footed Beastes (1607) and Historie of Serpents (1608). Both works are entirely uncritical and derivative; they are, nonetheless, the first illustrated natural history works to be published in English.
Johann Amos Comenius (1592-1670)
Orbis Sensualium Pictus
from The Cambridge Guide to Children's Books in English
Written by the Czech philosopher, teacher and educational theorist John Amos Comenius, this was one of the earliest picturebooks especially designed for children. It consists of a series of illustrations depicting various aspects of the natural world, human industry and endeavour, each with a brief parallel explanatory text in Latin and a vernacular language. The book was first printed in Nuremberg, an English language translation being published a year later by the grammarschool teacher John Hoole.