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The Textual Culture of English Protestant Dissent 1720–1800$
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Tessa Whitehouse

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198717843

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198717843.001.0001

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Isaac Watts, Educationalist

Isaac Watts, Educationalist

(p.122) 4 Isaac Watts, Educationalist
The Textual Culture of English Protestant Dissent 1720–1800

Tessa Whitehouse

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the content and dissemination of Watts’s pedagogical works to explore a different pattern of educational publishing from that pursued by Doddridge and his successors. As with titles he recommended and edited, Watts actively distributed his own books, ensuring they were priced cheaply and often giving copies away. These practices, in conjunction with Watts’s writing style, are considered as aspects of his philosophy in order to argue that widespread circulation and active intellectual engagement were encouraged by the form and content of his works which thereby influenced eighteenth-century theories of reading. Case studies show how readers (including Hester Lynch Piozzi) responded to Watts and how his ideas were diffused through children’s books such as John Newbery’s, through Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary, and internationally, arguing for his significance in the development of an inclusive and wide-reaching educational culture that continued to be influential into the nineteenth century.

Keywords:   reading, children, education, Richard Baxter, John Locke, Samuel Johnson

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