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The 1840s were full of change, especially in the social class system. By 1849, a middle class who could both read and write and afford entertainment like books and magazines had developed. Though free public libraries were still things of the future, many private citizens set up subscription lending libraries. One such individual was Mr. George Curling Hope of East Sussex, an area on England’s south coast about 50 miles (80 km) from London.
His library was quite successful and his wife even had a wool shop next door, so it comes as no surprise that Mr. and Mrs. Hope started publishing books and at least one magazine on crochet, canvaswork, embroidery, netting, and knitting from about 1842 to 1867.
Reproduced for you here are the title page, the editor’s “Address,” and the crochet content from the 1849 Knitting and Crochet: Tales and Poetry: A Melange of Instruction and Amusement for the Work-Table being the Year’s Volume of the “Ladies Needlework Penny Magazine.” The 22 patterns range from edgings to doilies, from a lady’s nightcap to a polka dress, and there’s more—an enigma, a poem, a “household hint,” and charades! Each is exactly as it was printed in the original.
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