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|Jane Austen,Jane Bennet, Dr James and Goody Two shoes.
Written by JulieW
(5/1/2007 9:07 a.m.)
Poor Jane Bennet, ill and feverish at Netherfield is treated by Mr Jones , the local Meryton apothecary, with some draughts to reduce her fever:
The apothecary came, and having examined his patient, said, as might be supposed, that she had caught a violent cold, and that they must endeavour to get the better of it; advised her to return to bed, and promised her some draughts. The advice was followed readily, for the feverish symptoms increased, and her head ached acutely.
The 18th/early 19th century universal potion used in this type of situation was no doubt Dr James's Powders, favoured by Horace Walpole, yet described by Roy Porter as a typical "quack remedy" in his book "Quack Medicine in Georgian England.
Here is a trade card advertising the medicine:
OK thus far but what does this have to do with Jane Austen's childhood reading books?
Here is a picture of her copy of the Tale of Goody Two-Shoes: note her signature on the cover.
This was published by the most famous and prolific publisher for children of the eighteenth century , John Newbery.
He published books which were immediately attractive to children: in a small format, with illustrations, and bound in brightly-coloured flowered paper(as you cans ee above)
The firm that he founded published nearly four hundred titles by the end of the century, of which the British Library holds about a hundred and seventy titles.
OK..so?, I hear you ask.
Well if you examine the trade card for the powder above you will see that theyare avaiable for sale from one Mr John Newberry. Mr Newbery made most of his money from the sale of Dr James' Fever Powders,and the profits from this helped finance his publishing business.
Strange world isn't it ?
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