Mental Improvement

Mental Improvement: or the Beauties and Wonders of Nature and Art, Conveyed in a Series of Instructive Conversations was first published in two volumes in 1797. Priscilla states in the preface,   ‘would any child suppose, that the cloth, of which her frock is made, is composed of the fibrous parts of a green plant; or that the paper she draws upon, is the same substance wrought into a different form; that the transparent glass she drinks out of, was once a heap of sand and ashes; or that the ribbon she wears, is the product of an insect? The design of the following little work, is to excite the curiosity of young persons on these subjects, by furnishing information on a few of the most obvious’.

For this book Priscilla creates the Harcourt family – the first of her family characters. It consists of Mr and Mrs Harcourt, Sophia, Cecelia, Charles and Henry.  Unlike her earlier dialogues she brings the discussion into contemporary times with the characters talking about the origin of everyday objects such as sponges, salt and wool.

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Published in: on August 29, 2009 at 5:07 am  Leave a Comment  

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