MEYNIER, Johann Heinrich, 1764-1825
Wissenschaftlicher Hausbedarf für die Jugend. Eine kleine Handbibliothek in 21 Bändchen
enthaltend diejenigen Kenntnisse welche jeder gebildete Mensch wissen muss. Nürnberg : bei Friedrich Campe, 1821. Twenty-one booklets, square duodecimo, in the original uniform green papered boards, each with the original printed label to the front listing the individual volume number and its subject; various paginations from 30 to 64 pages; with 5 hand coloured copperplate engravings illustrating mammals, birds, fish and amphibians, insects and botany, and 10 uncoloured plates (5 illustrating astronomy); contained in the original green card slipcase (lightly rubbed, a little worn at the corners) with the publisher’s label printed in black on orange; mild scattered foxing throughout the volumes, but an exceptionally well preserved set; complete, as issued.
An apparently unrecorded complete edition of this beautiful children’s reference library, compiled by Johann Heinrich Meynier. An advertisement for it appeared in the Morgenblatt für gebildete Leser (Stuttgart and Tübingen) on June 22, 1821. A later edition with the twenty-one parts bound in a single volume was published in 1830. Although individual volumes of the 1821 edition are recorded, we have not been able to locate another complete set in any collection worldwide. The titles of the individual volumes are as follows:
1. Erdkunde (Physical Geography); 2. Geographie I; 3. Geographie II; 4. Weltgeschichte (World History); 5. Anthropologie; 6. Säugetiere (Mammals); 7. Vögel (Birds); 8. Fische und Amphybien; 9. Insecten; 10. Botanik; 11. Naturlehre (Nature); 12. Astronomie; 13. Teutsche Sprachlehre (German Language); 14. Teutsche Rechtbeschreibung (German Spelling); 15. Logie (Logic); 16. Mythologie; 17. Berühmte Männer (Famous Men); 18. Berühmte Teutsche (Famous Germans); 19. Teutsche Geschichte (German History); 20. Sitten-und-Klugheitslehre (Morals and Wisdom); 21. Räthsel und Charaden (Puzzles and Charades).
The second volume of geography contains general descriptions of Australia and the Pacific (49-52), as well as chapters on Asia (including Japan, China and the East Indies), North and South America, and the known parts of Africa.
Johann Heinrich Meynier (1764-1825) was a lexicographer and academic at the University of Erlangen. In addition to compiling several dictionaries and grammars he wrote many pedagogical works which were published under both his own name as well as under numerous pseudonyms that included the surnames Jerrer, Sanguin and Renner. Meynier’s Wissenschaftlicher Hausbedarf für die Jugend was published by Friedrich Campe, nephew of the children’s writer, educator and publisher Joachim Heinrich Campe (1746-1818), who, like Meynier, was a major figure in the German Enlightenment. Although it was produced, strictly speaking, in the post-Enlightenment period, this encyclopaedic reference library for children is indeed imbued with the pedagogical spirit and ideals of the late eighteenth century. Contained within its twenty-one slim volumes is a compendium of the knowledge that was deemed essential for every child and household.
This unique set of Wissenschaftlicher Hausbedarf für die Jugend, in its tactile and unsophisticated original bindings and slipcase, is both a remarkable survivor and a splendid example of the continuing influence of Enlightenment philosophies in the early nineteenth century.