New Exhibit: The Jonathan Levy Collection: The Child & The Theatre, 1690-1990. Coming February, 2003.


Click to view larger image [Pinchard, Elizabeth, Mrs.] The Two Cousins: A Moral Story, for the Use of Young Persons, in Which Is Exemplified the Necessity of Moderation and Justice to the Attainment of Happiness. By the Author of The Blind Child and Dramatic Dialogues. London: E. Newbery, 1798.

This is not a play, but some of it is written in play format. The caption below the illustration reads: "Mary Thomson discovered asleep in the Snow by Mrs. Leyster and her Daughter."



More, Hannah. Sacred Dramas: Chiefly Intended for Young Persons: The Subjects Taken from the Bible. 13th ed. London: G. Woodfall, 1802.

The plays included in this book are: Moses in the Bulrushes, David and Goliath, Belshazzar, Daniel, and Reflections of King Hezekiah in His Sickness.

Click to view larger image


Click to view larger image Corner, Julia. The Sleeping Beauty: A Play for Home Acting and Young Performers. London: Groombridge and Sons, [1861].

This illustration is on the first page of the playscript. The following scenic notes appear below it: "Scene I-A room in the palace. In the centre is a small raised platform, about three or four feet square, to represent a hearth, on which should be placed an urn, or anything that looks as if it would hold fire. On one side are chairs of state for the King and Queen, who are seated, the chief minister, Lord Fandango, standing by the King, and Lady Christabel by the Queen. On the other side, and behind the altar or hearth, are ranged several ladies and gentlemen, supposed to have been invited to the ceremonial of naming the infant Princess."

The following note appears after the list of characters on the opposite page: "The mode of naming the infant Princess is made to be somewhat similar to the custom observed by the ancient Greeks, as it would have been irreverent to make the slightest approach to our own baptismal rites."



More, Hannah. Strictures on the Modern System of Female Education: With a View of the Principles and Conduct Prevalent Among Women of Rank and Fortune. Volume I of 2 volumes. Third Edition. London: T. Cadell Jun. and W. Davies, 1799.

The author comments on the status of the female educational system in her Introduction, as follows: "It is a singular injustice which is often exercised towards women, first to give them a very defective Education, and then to expect from them the most undeviating purity of conduct; - to train them in such a manner as shall lay them open to the most dangerous faults, and then to censure them for not proving faultless. Is it not unreasonable and unjust, to express disappointment if our daughters should, in their subsequent lives, turn out precisely that very kind of character for which it would be evident to an unprejudiced by-stander that the whole scope and tenor of their instruction had been systematically preparing them? Some reflections on the present erroneous system are here with great deference submitted to public consideration."

Click to view larger image


Click to view larger image [Pinchard, Elizabeth.] Dramatic Dialogues for the Use of Young Persons. By the Author of The Blind Child. London: E. Newbery, 1792.

The author’s purpose for writing these dramatic dialogues is explained in the Preface as follows: "If these simple Dialogues should be considered as an additional barrier against the encroachments of error, and an additional support to the efforts of Virtue, the Writer will be most happy; and she trusts them, tho’ not without fear, yet not without hope, to the candor of a generous Public, who at least will give her credit for purity of intention."



Herts, Alice Minnie. The Children’s Educational Theatre. With an Introduction by Charles W. Eliot, President Emeritus of Harvard University. Illustrated from photographs. New York and London: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1911.

This photo is of a 1903 New York City Children’s Education Theatre production of The Tempest by William Shakespeare.

Click to view larger image


Click to view larger image Berquin. L’Ami des Enfants. Paris: P. C. Lehuby, n.d.

This is an illustration from the play Le Page, a drama in one act. The caption below the illustration reads, "Ah! Monseigneur! Elle est si pauvre."



A Midsummer-Night's Dream for Young People: A Play by William Shakespeare. Adapted from the Cambridge text. Introductory story, decorations and illustrations by Lucy Fitch Perkins. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co., 1907.

An introductory essay entitled "In Shakespeare’s Day" that describes a fictional meeting with William Shakespeare in December 1594 precedes the playscript.

Click to view larger image


Collection Overview Levy Biography Early Play Index
Child Drama Collection