Tuesday, February 17, 2009

ABBOTT, JACOB (1803 - 1879)

American educator, clergyman, and author of children's books. Born in Hallowell, Me., he graduated from Bowdoin College and studied at Andover Theological Seminary. In Boston he founded the Mount Vernon School for girls, where he discarded the traditional stern disciplinary methods and subtituted an approach of kindness and trust. A prolific writer, he was the author of the "Rollo" bools (a 28-volume series begun in 1834), the Franconia Stories (10 vols., 1850-53), and "Abbott's Illustrated Histories" (1849-61). His books, which where meant primarily to instruct, are stilted by modern standards, but they were much more human and much less priggish than other children's books of the time. Abbott was the most popular children's author of his period, and his works foreshadowed modern juvenile writing.

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