António Feliciano Castilho was born in 1800, in Portugal. He learned how to
read as a small child, before losing his eyesight at the age of 6. However
this tragic event did not stop him from pursuing his studies. As an adult he
decided to alphabetize his own countrymen and for this task he developed a
quick learning method of reading and writing based on the
sound of words.
This method was tested in some schools, but it didn't get the approval or
the support the author expected. It was accused of: being an adaptation of a
manual already refused in France; using a phonetic orthography instead of
an etymological one; the speed of learning wasn't faster with this method and
children were being distracted by the book's illustrations. For Castilho's
misfortune, his manual was never officially adopted in public schools.
Since we love to distract ourselves with illustrations, engravings and
typography, we decided to begin our facsimile series with this book.