The Public Paperfolding History Project

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The Boy's Holyday Book, 1844

The second, 'greatly enlarged' erition of 'The Boy's Holyday Book' was published by G H Davidson in London around 1844.

The book itself is undated but it includes adverts for other books, at the front, one of which is for the Songs of Charles Dibdin. A copy of this book is accessible online here. The book is dated 1845, but the preface is dated 1842. The advert in the Boy’s Holyday Book says that this book is published in two volumes, but this 1845 book is in only one, so is not the original edition. Therefore the date of the second edition of the Boy’s Holyday book is after 1842 but before 1845.

I have also found a note in the catalogue of the Bodleian Library which says the copy of this edition in the Opie Collection of Children’s Literature has an inscription dated 1844, which seems conclusive evidence that it was in print at that date.

The second edition can be accessed online here. I have not been able to locate a copy of the first edition, or indeed any mention of it at all, so do not know either its date, or whether the iinformation about paperfolding appearing in the second edition was also included in the first.



Kite Tails


The Walking Pyramid - Designs which Move under Insect Power


Puzzle Wit - Troublewit

The illustrations for this section are ultimately taken from Sports and Pastimes, published in 1676. The main interest, however, lies in the statements 'Most of our readers, we presume, have seen a man about the streets producing the likeness of a multitude of articles through the transmogrifications of a piece of folded paper', which seems to provide clear evidence that at this period Troublewit was a popular form of street entertainment in London. There is also mention of 'the poor blind fellow whose ingenuity enabled him to get a living by their exhibition', of whom we also know from other sources.