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John Newberry and Goody Twoshoes

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 6 months ago

 Goody Twoshoes


No one wants to be called a “goody two-shoes”—someone who is prudish and self-righteous. But years ago American colonists considered the term “goody two-shoes” a compliment. The colonists believed that good literature had two purposes: to delight and to instruct. By the early eighteenth century interest in children's literature (and a rise in literacy) led to new markets and a flourishing of new publishers, particularly in England. Innovations in typography and printing allowed greater freedom in reproducing art through engraving, woodcut, etching, and aquatint, although illustrators were still largely anonymous and illustrations confined to frontispieces. One of the most popular fictional books in the colonies was The History of Little Goody Twoshoes, published by one of the most important early publishers, John Newberry. Goody (or short for Mrs.) Twoshoes was an industrious and godly woman who went through many trials but was eventually rewarded for her virtues.

Thomas Boreman was one of the first entrepreneurs to respond to the market with his miniature books entitled Gigantick Histories (1740–1743) as well as other illustrated books on subjects such as natural history. The most important of the early publishers was John Newbery (1713–1767). Newbery published vast quantities of children’s literature of all types as well as a wide range of books on reading, philosophy, and science, most covered in flowered and gilt Dutch paper and enlivened by simple woodcut illustrations. His first children’s book was A Little Pretty Pocket Book (1744), and one of the most popular was his 1765 History of Little Goody Two Shoes, regarded as the first novel written specifically for children (it is said to have been written for Newbery by Oliver Goldsmith).


American Vision P.O. Box 220, Powder Springs, GA 30127, 800-628-9460, www.americanvision.org . History Unwrapped by Gary DeMar.


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