Tan cloth binding with gilt title on the spine. Gilt title and figures on the front board.
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A solid Christian publication from the Religious Tract Society
The Religious Tract Society was a British evangelical Christian organization founded in 1799 and known for publishing a variety of popular religious and quasi-religious texts in the 19th century. The society engaged in charity as well as commercial enterprise, publishing books and periodicals for profit.
Periodicals published by the RTS included Boy’s Own Paper, Girl’s Own Paper and The Leisure Hour.
Income from the sale of the society’s books and periodicals went into a decline in the 1890s. A report issued by the society attributed this to a “general depression [which] has severely affected the book trade”, though no such depression existed. Historian Aileen Fyfe attributes the decline to an increase in competition, and a decline in the influence of Christian evangelism and in the demand for religious literature. As the society entered the 20th century, its operations contracted. It reduced the funding it provided for foreign missionary work, and in 1930 reorganized all its operations into a single building. In the inter-war period, tract circulation had declined to one million, its lowest level since 1806.
In 1932, a new imprint, Lutterworth Press, was formed, under which most of the society’s subsequent publications appeared.
In 1935, the society merged with the Christian Literature Society for India and Africa, later also incorporating the Christian Literature Society for China in 1941. The resulting entity was the United Society for Christian Literature, which, as of 2006, was continuing its mission, largely in the form of overseas missionary work.
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