The History of Jacky Jingle


The market for inexpensive children’s reading material grew in the early 1830s as affluence and literacy increased. This 16-page illustrated book states that it was aimed at ‘both great and small’.

It tells the story of Jacky Jingle, a truant and reluctant schoolboy, and Sulky (or ‘Sucky’) Sue, a moody, recalcitrant girl. Following some sharp punishment given with a cane, the children mend their ways, work hard, and become sweethearts. The couple’s good behaviour is rewarded: they set up a farm as man and wife, benefiting from Sue’s inheritance of a hundred pounds.

The illustrations, though crude and cheaply produced, were comparatively lavish for the time – one per page, rather than one per book.

Full title:
The History of Jacky Jingle
estimated 1830, Plymouth, Devon
Chapbook / Children's book / Illustration / Image
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library

Full catalogue details

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Article by:
Ruth Richardson
Reading and print culture, Popular culture

Chapbooks were small, affordable forms of literature for children and adults that were sold on the streets, and covered a range of subjects from fairy tales and ghost stories to news of politics, crime or disaster. Dr Ruth Richardson explains what this literature looked like, its subject matter and the ways in which it was produced.

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