Lines. by MONCKTON, Charlotte Penelope (d. 1807).

MONCKTON, Charlotte Penelope (d. 1807).

Lines. Written on Several Occasions. By the late Honble. Charlotte Penelope Monckton. No place or printer, 1806.

First (Only) Edition. Oblong 32mo (70 x 95 mm), pp. [x], [11]-59, printed in a minute type, with two elegant woodcuts of a funerary urn and a weeping willow, section titles or rules between the poems, with a half-title, some scattered browning to a few leaves, in contemporary blue straight-grained morocco, single filet gilt to covers, flat spine ruled and decorated in compartments, marbled endpapers, front free endpaper missing but marbled pastedown still present, numerous blank leaves before and after text, gilt edges and a pink silk marker.

A delightful memento mori in the form of an exquisite volume of posthumous verse by a young girl. The author, Charlotte Penelope Monckton, was the daughter of Robert Monckton-Arundell, fourth Viscount Galway, and Elizabeth Mathew. The first poem in the volume is a poem on the death of her mother in November 1801 and several of the other poems treat of deaths, two of them relating to the death of her brother Augustus Philip, who died in August 1802. The final poem in the volume, ‘Inscription on a Stone erected in Selby Wood, to the Memory of a Favourite Dog’, is dated March 1806, a month before the author’s own death.
With a brief address which turns into a pious dedication leaf:
‘The following artless and unstudied Lines, evidently the momentary Effusions of an elegant and accomplished Mind, possessed of the greatest Sensibility, were doubtless intended by the beloved Writer to be transient; but are now committed to the Press, for the Purpose of presenting a few select Friends with a Memorial of a dear and ever to be lamented SISTER.... Affection alone prompts this Tribute; as those who were acquainted with her amiable Disposition... her mild and gentle Manners... her unaffected Piety... her universal and exemplary Benevolence... her devout Resignation to the Dispensations of Providence, under the severest Afflictions... and had the peculiar Happiness of being ranked among the number of her Friends, can require no other Memorial than their own Feelings.
While her surviving Sisters bow with awful Reverence and Submission to the divine will of the
they humbly hope they shall not be deemed presumptuous in His Sight, in endeavouring to soften the Affliction of their Hearts, by fondly cherishing the
of Charlotte Penelope Monckton, who was removed from this, to “Another and a Better World”, the 26th Day of April, 1806, aged 21 Years’.

The edition is likely to have been a tiny one, for circulation only to the ‘few select Friends’ as mentioned in the Address and it seems likely for such a project that the other copies may have been similarly bound to this one, in its elegant dark morocco binding, simply gilt.

Jackson, Romantic Poetry by Women, p. 222, no. 1.

OCLC lists BL, Bodleian and Princeton only.

Keywords: English Literature
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