[Two printed pamphlets and a handbill.] A Reformed Alphabet designed to facilitate the Art of Learning to Read. [bound up with] The Reformed Reading Primer. [and] The International Alphabet, by Ralph Winnington Leftwich, M.D.

R. W. Leftwich [Ralph Winnington Leftwich], M.D. [Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons, Ltd., London, and at Bath and New York; linguistics; phonetics]
Publication details: 
[Item One.] New York: Isaac Pitman & Sons, 33 Union Square. London: Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, Ltd., 1 Amen Corner, E.C. And at Bath. [1898] [Item Two:] Undated. [Item Three:] Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons, Ltd., London and at Bath and New York. [Undated]
SKU: 15181

Both items in good condition, on lightly-aged paper. Stamp and label of the Education Department Reference Library, London. ONE: Pamphlet titled 'A Reformed Alphabet'. 10pp., 12mo. Stapled in grey printed wraps. The first four pages carry 'Phonetic Notation. The Reformed Alphabet. For teaching purposes only. Devised by R. W. Leftwich, M.D.' The last six pages carry an essay by Leftwich, beginning: 'The art of learning to read English, instead of being so easy as to form a stepping-stone to higher accomplishments, is really a very difficult task. For, while there are only 36 sounds in the English language, there are said to be no less than 623 ways of indicating them, and it is impossible to tell with certainty beforehand which of the numerous ways will be correct in any given case.' Leftwich concludes by claiming that 'there is here offered to the consideration of the Educational Authorities of the British Empire and the United States, a system which will make the English-speaking child not merely equal, but, in virtue of the simple grammar, superior, to a foreign child of the same age.' TWO: Handbill titled 'The Reformed Reading Primer.' 2pp., 12mo. Single leaf tipped-in before first leaf of Item One. No date or details of publication. Begins: 'Of the attributes desirable in a successful teacher, few are more important than Imagination. | Without Imagination, the teacher cannot place himself in the mental attitude of the person taught. | Now, the mental attitude of a child learning to read is one of hopeless confusion. He many not be able to express feelings of which he has only a dim consciousness, but, translated into the language of adult life, the following will be his thoughts: [...]'. THREE: Pamphlet titled 'The International Alphabet, by Ralph Winnington Leftwich, M.D.' 4pp., 12mo. Bifolium. Tipped-in after last leaf of Item One. Printer's slug at foot of p.4. Undated. Beneath title: 'Copyright in England and Abroad. All Rights Reserved.' A table giving the sounds of 'The International Alphabet' covers pp.2-4, preceded by an introduction on p.1, beginning: 'It seems to be tacitly recognised that, provided an alphabet be absolutely phonetic and consist of symbols each of which represents one constant sound, the art of Reading can be accomplished without any previous knowledge of Spelling.'