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date: 18 November 2019

Giles Gingerbread, A Little Boy who Lived upon Learning, The Renowned History of (1764) 

The Oxford Companion to Children's Literature

Daniel Hahn

A small illustrated storybook published, and possibly written, by John *Newbery. The story begins with young Giles being rebuked by his father for trying to jump on to the back of Sir Toby Thompson’s coach instead of using the door. ‘A poor Man, or a poor Boy may get a coach, if he will endeavour to deserve it. Merit and Industry may entitle a man to any Thing.’ The gaffer proceeds to tell the now obedient Giles how Sir Toby himself, by being attentive at school, honest, and industrious, rose from poor errand-boy to partner, and then heir to his benefactor’s business. Giles Gingerbread now desires to read, ‘that he might become as great a Man as Sir Toby Thompson’, and the rest of the book is taken up with lessons in letters (cut out of gingerbread, so that at one point Giles eats up his words), in religion, in morality, and sense.... ...

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