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Page 4 of History of the McGuffey readers / by Henry H.Vail ; with three portraits.

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Diffteffnt tIM00ton book business. Valuable information has also been furnished by descendants of the McGuffey family, and by the educational institutions with which each of the authors of the readers was connected. For half a century the present writer has had per- sonal knowledge of the readers. At first, as a teacher, using them daily in the class room; but soon, as an editor, directing the literary work of the publishers and owners. It therefore falls to him to narrate a story "quorum pars minima fui." For more than seventy years the McGuffey Readers have held high rank as text-books for use in the elementary schools, especially throughout the West and South. But during this time these books have been revised five times and adjusted to the changed conditions in the schools. In each one of these re- visions the marked characteristics of the original series have been most scrupulously retained, and the continued success of the series is doubtless owing to this fact. There has been a continuity of spirit. The First and Second Readers were first published in 1836. In 1837 the Third and Fourth Readers were printed. For reasons elsewhere explained these books were "improved and enlarged" in 1838. In 1841 a higher reader was added to the series which was then named McGuffey's Rhetorical Guide. In the years 1843 and 1844 the four books then con- stituting the series were thoroughly remodeled and on the title pages were placed the words "Newly Revised" and the Rhetorical Guide was annexed as [4]