Here is the front piece of the 1782 published Twentieth Edition of the 1720 First Edition of Robert Burton (Nathaniel Crouch),
IN TWO PARTS.
Forty remarkable Scripture Hiftories,
turned into English Verfes, with Forty
Pictures proper to each Story, and to pre-
vent vain and vicious Divertifements.—
Also feveral Scriptures Hymns upon various
BY ROBERT BURTON.
He certainly doth hit the Right,
Who mingles Profit with Delight.
Of Death and Judgement, Heaven and Hell,
Who often thinks, muft needs do well.
THE TWENTIETH EDITION.
Printed for C. HITCH and L. HAWES, at the Red
Lion, in Pater Notter Row, and S. CROWDER
and Co. at the Looking-Glafs, over againft St.
Magnus Church, London.
R.B. (1632?-1725?)Nathaniel Crouch was considered a hack, for “borrowing,” parts of published books and rewriting it in pamphlet form. He became very rich by making the works of scholars and authors that were only available to their small circle friends available to the common population that could read. He would publish and market “his works,” under the pseudonym: Robert Burton (not to be confused with the English scholar of the same name 1577-1640)or R.B. through his “Crouch,” print shop and bookstore.
I found this little gem one day at my local salvation army in 1992. This was before the internet craze and Antique Road Show ruined it for collectors on small budgets. There was a box with a number of books I was lucky to find on one of the high shelf. I hope to list some of the other ones in the future.
The book was published Nathaniel Crouch (ca. 1640-1725) who was a London bookseller and historian. He published under the pseudonym R.B. alluding to Robert or Richard Burton. Robert Burton was used after his death to distinguish from books that were printed during his life, when he would use R.B. or Richard Burton. He had the uncanny skill of taking English histories and condenses them down from large volumes to these small booklets, like the one I am presenting here. They were called 12 penny books which made them available to most everyone. Because they were inexpensive, unfortunately few of these booklets survive. For the last ten years I have been Googling the title of the book and searching Google Image so I could compare the woodblocks, but to no avail. Princeton University has the most extensive collection of these booklets. In 1918, publisher Charles Scribner II (1854-1930) presented a collection of Burton’s booklets to their rare book department.
Hopefully someone who has a copy of Youth’s Divine Pastime and will now be able to compare the illustration with the one’s I have published here. As there are forty woodblocks, I will only list a few.
This illustration is called, “Upon Hell.”
It shows an archangel delivering a soul blocked from entering heaven to the devil’s helper which holds a pitchfork. This helper unmercifully throws the lost souls into the mouth of the beast of hell as their flesh is torn by jagged teeth. Another of the devil’s helper helps pulls their bodies into the mouth of the beast as they are run over the razor-sharp jagged teeth.
Here is the full text and woodblock:
When reading the text, the letters that are printed with the letter “f” are usually the letter “s.” Here is another woodblock called Jonah History, the story of Jonah and the whale. In this illustration we see a ship in background. Jonah is being delivered on land by what looks like a monster whale with jagged teeth and catfish like whiskers.
The following is the text that pertains to the woodblock
I will add more illustration as time permits.