The History of Little Jack, a foundling


Shown here is a bound collection of two short stories for children about a foundling, Jack, and an orphan, William. They both reflect Romantic ideals of childhood and nature as set out in Rousseau’s Émile, or on Education. The Story of Little Jack was first published in 1787 and, selling well, continued to be issued in new editions, such as this one, for over 30 years. 

The History of Little Jack, a foundling; together with the History of William, an orphan reveal similarities with other orphan stories from the period. Both of Day’s titles, for instance, echo an earlier novel by Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, first published in 1749. 

Their author, Thomas Day, was a writer, philanthropist and abolitionist, but who made his name as a children’s author. Day is best known for the bestselling children’s book The History of Sandford and Merton.

Full title:
The History of Little Jack, ... a foundling ... With the History of William, an orphan. [By T. Day.]
1820, Dublin, Ireland
Book / Children's book / Illustration / Image
Thomas Day
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library

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