Letters written by the late Right Honourable Lady Luxborough to William Shenstone, Esq. London, Dodsley, 1775.
First Edition. 8vo, pp. [iv], 416, slight toning, marginal waterstaining to outer and lower blank margins of first and last few gatherings and some foxing throughout, bound in nineteenth-century marbled calf, spine gilt and gilt-lettered, all edges painted red, marbled endpapers, front hinge sprung, upper hinge starting but still firm, with occasional contemporary or slightly later annotations.
The first edition of this fascinating collection of letters written by the poet Henrietta Knight, Lady Luxborough, written while in exile at Barrells Hall in Warwickshire, where she had been banished by her husband who suspected her of infidelity. During her time in exile in this remote estate, Luxorough spent her time creating a ferme ornée, introducing rare plants into the landscape and keeping exotic birds and fowl. Gradually, as the fame of the gardens spread, visitors arrived and Luxborough found acceptance in local society, as if the offence of adultery had been expiated through gardening and the creation of a beautiful landscape. Her letters discuss landscape gardening, culture, literature and events, including visits by her friends. Her correspondent, William Shenstone (1714-63), was a poet and acquaintance of intellectuals like Bishop Percy, to whom he suggested the writing of his famous Reliques. Shenston’s correspondence, including this volume, was published posthumously.