An analysis of country dancing: wherein are displayed all the figures ever used in country dances, in a way so easy and familiar, that persons of the meanest capacity may in a short time acquire (without the aid of a master) a complete knowledge of that rational and polite amusement. To which are added, instructions for dancing some entire new reels; together with the rules, regulations, and complete etiquette of the ball room.
This is the first of several books published by Wilson on the subject of English country dancing. Performed as a series of figures by a column of men facing a column of women, the English country dance was one of the most popular early nineteenth-century ballroom dances. Although the manual has a section on ballroom etiquette, it is most useful for its text, tables, and color-coded diagrams, which explain the figures. This edition is dedicated to Madame Desayes, principal dancer at the King's Theatre, where Wilson held the post of dancing master. The manual was expanded and reissued in 1811 and 1822, and a version was published in 1815 entitled The complete system of English country dancing.