Charles Hindley, London. 1887. xliv, 308 pages. 8vo. Cloth binding, fore edge and lower edge untrimmed. Spine label mostly rubbed off, scuffed at top and bottom, boards somewhat soiled, corners bumped, inner hinges are a little bit weak. Many illustrations coloured by hand. ”A collection of juvenile books. Printed and published by James Catnach,” p. [95-212]. Includes reprints of texts of songs, catchpennies, etc.
It was from the little shop and parlour at 2 Monmouth Court, Seven Dials that James Catnach set up his printing business c. 1813 using only his father’s old wooden printing press. He was now supporting his mother and family and so had even more incentive to succeed, and so by very careful management he gradually built up a very solid yet lucrative business. His main-stay was small histories, ballad poetry, broadsides, catch-pennies, and penny awfuls. And the customers who were connected with the catchpenny trade and who frequented his place of business were, in the main, vagrants, miscreants, and the underclasses of society. Business improved and c1820 James was running 3 presses, all working flat out. By the end of the 1830s James Catnach was at the height of his power, influence and wealth, never employing more than 4 and with only 6 presses, he had a phenomenal turnover, sometimes not even having time to count the number of copies coming of the presses.