"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Pinnock and Mangnall

In 'Tom Tiddler's Ground' by Charles Dickens there is a reference to Miss Pupford's establishment for six young ladies of tender years... It is implied that Miss Pupford came into the world already "completely up in Pinnock, Mangnall, Tables, and the use of the Globes."

A New York Times article in 1897 commented that "In the first half of the century girls of the richer classes were sent almost exclusively to boarding schools, or were taught by private governesses, whose educational merits could not be tested by any examinations. The school books were Mangnall's "Questions." Pinnock's "Catechisms." Mrs. Marcet's "Conversations," "Keith's "Use of the Globes," Mrs. Trimmer's "English History," and other elegant abridgements."

Richmal Mangnall (1769 - 1820) wrote "Historical and miscellaneous questions" – I’m not sure of the first publication but the third edition was in 1803. It went through over eighty editions by 1854.

William Pinnock (1782-1843) wrote a number of books for ‘young ladies’ such as A Catechism of British Biography; A Catechism of Ancient History; and A Catechism of Modern History.


  1. wow! Wouldn't I like to get my hands on these books for my education, which is sorely lacking in many subjects you mention. Do you know if any of these books are available any longer, even as publishsed in the 1800's ?

  2. Yes, Dottie. They can be obtained second hand from Abebooks by going to