Joseph Hazard's Compendious History, the earliest English-language example of a Children's Bible, provides a valuable glimpse into what a common English reader of the early 18th century might suppose the Bible taught. This popular book is based on a French original by Nicolas Fontaine, and the illustrations on engravings by Matthaus Merian. The second edition is reproduced here in a presentation very close to a facsimile, preserving many of the idiosyncrasies of typesetting and presentation (since these contribute significantly to the way the book conveys its interpretation of the Bible). With numerous omissions, some repetition, and surprising selection of incidents, the Compenidous History opens a window into the state of biblical literacy in early Georgian England.
It will interest general readers, parents of literary-minded children, scholars of children's literature, of 18th-century literature, of church history, of rewritten Bible and of the reception history of the Bible, and all who relish the peculiar cultural history of the English Bible.