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.