History of the Horn-Book
The Taskmistress by Celia Levetus


History of the Horn-Book
by Andrew White Tuer
(Leadenhall Press, 1896) 

Published by his own Leadenhall Press in 1896, Andrew Tuer’s History of the Horn-book is a detailed historical record of the horn-book, an object whose place in education history had largely been overlooked. Opening with definitions and early examples of usage, the history charts the development of the ‘horn-book’ until its final decline in the early 19th century. As Tuer declares in his preface, the book adds ‘a chapter to the history of our national education’.

The term ‘horn-book’ is used today to refer to a legal casebook. Originally a horn-book was a small printed page displayed on wood, card or board, used as an educational tool. Covering its usage during a period of approximately 300 years, Tuer examines the enduring popularity of the horn-book through various cultural moments.
Each volume incorporates a space in which several physical examples of horn-books are stored. The combination of text, illustrations and real examples provides a comprehensive reference guide. The book has been reissued many times over the last 100 years.

Illustrations by Birmingham School Artists, including Celia Levetus ("The Taskmistress") and Georgie Cave (later Gaskin, "Spring," "Summer," "Autumn," and "Winter") feature throughout. 

Caption by Olivia Boyce

Associated Place(s)

Timeline of Events Associated with History of the Horn-Book


  • Celia Levetus

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