London: Kenny & Co., 1888. First edition. Two parts in one, collating 20; 42, : complete with two folding plates bound in at rear. Recent marbled wrappers with title to front. Faint soiling to title and small chip to outer corner of final plate, but in all an extremely pleasing copy. A scarce work on early childhood education and development, OCLC reports 6 institutional copies (3 of these in the U.S.), with this being the only copy on the market.
Instrumental in promoting the kindergarten movement in the United States, Emma Marwedel was a believer in the Pestalozzi whole-child methods of early education. Early in her career, she served as the director of the Girls' Industrial School in Hamburg, Germany (186701868), as well as conducting a kindergarten. "Her work made a deep impression on the visiting Elizabeth Palmer Peabody" and would lead to a long term partnership between the two, as Marwedel sought to open kindergartens and develop kindergarten teacher training in New York and California (Britannica). The present work opens with instructions to guide mothers in the use of games and physical activities that will encourage their infants to expand in curiosity and develop their intellectual capacities through play; the second part, in continuation, provides a guide to using diagrams that teach form and color to young children. Though Marwedel struggled to gain sufficient funding and interest in her own lifetime to maintain the schools she sought to establish, she was integral to bringing Froebel and Pestalozzi's ideas on childhood development to the U.S. and shaped progressive views on the intellectual and creative capacities of children. (Item #4037)