- Tag = Women
A Collection of Novels and Tales of the Fairies.
Written by that Celebrated Wit of France, the Countess d’Anois. In three volumes. Vol. I [-III]. The Fifth Edition. Translated from the best Edition of the Original French, by several Hands.
London, J. Brotherton [&c.], 1766.
Fifth Edition. Three volumes, 12mo, (162 x 92 mm), pp. ix, [iii] advertisements, 288; [ii], -275,  advertisements; [ii], -239,  advertisements, marginal damp-staining in the second and third volumes, in contemporary tree calf, triple gilt filet to covers with corner floral tooling, joints rubbed but sound, spines elaborately gilt in compartments with red and black labels lettered and numbered in gilt, with the later pencil ownership inscription of W.K. Leslie.
An attractive copy of a scarce English edition of the complete fairy tales by Madame d’Aulnoy. First published in 1697 as Contes des Fées, with… (more)
An attractive copy of a scarce English edition of the complete fairy tales by Madame d’Aulnoy. First published in 1697 as Contes des Fées, with another volume appearing in 1698 under the title Les Contes nouveau, she wrote some thirty stories in all, some of which, like ‘L’Oiseau bleu’ and ‘Le Chatte blanche’ have become classics. Numerous editions of her works have been published since with varying degrees of completeness. All eighteenth century editions in French and English (as of course the original late seventeenth century French editions) are now pretty scarce and as they were well read, they are seldom found in good condition. Despite a few minor scuffs, this is a handsome copy in contemporary tree calf.
'Comment concilier l'aventureuse existence de cette virago sans scrupules', asks René Herval, 'avec le délicieux talent de l'auteur des Contes de Fées … car il est indéniable que le même esprit qui médita la perte du baron d'Aulnoy a créé une oeuvre qui l'emporte même sur celle de Perrault' (qv. Dictionnaire des Lettres Françaises XVII, pp. 86-87).
There were a number of early editions of the English text of Aulnoy’s Contes des fées, which was first published in English in 1721 (ESTC lists NLW, Bodleian, Harvard, Miami and Clark). Editions followed in 1722 (Bodleian, Penn); 1728 (BL, Worcester Oxford, Newberry, Illinois, Michigan, Penn, Yale and National Library of Australia); 1737 (Edinburgh University, NLW, Harvard and New York University); 1749 (Cleveland Public, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, UCLA and Clark); 1749 (Princeton, Alberta, UCLA).
ESTC t82647, at BL, Cambridge, Louisiana State, Newberry and UCLA only.More details Price: £2,750.00
Bibliotheque des Amans.
[Odes Erotiques; par M. Sylvain M***. ] A Gnide.
Paris, Veuve Duchesne, 1777.
First Edition. 18mo, (135 x 80 mm), pp. [iv], viii, -212, pagination includes the attractive engraved title page, unsigned but attributed to Marillier and the half-title, which gives the alternative rubric ‘Odes Erotiques’ and supplying the author’s name, in an elegant nineteenth century binding, half green morocco over marbled boards, spine lettered and decorated in gilt, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, from the library of Claude Lebédel.
An attractive copy, though a nineteenth century binding, of a scarce early publication by Sylvain Marechal. The Bibliothèque des Amans, a compilation of poems celebrating… (more)
An attractive copy, though a nineteenth century binding, of a scarce early publication by Sylvain Marechal. The Bibliothèque des Amans, a compilation of poems celebrating love, consists mainly of 'Odes Erotiques' with a small final section of miscellaneous poems, quatrains, hymns and epitaphs. This is Marechal's second published work, published some seven years after his precocious Bergeries which earned him the nickname of 'Sylvain', the name by which he is known to this day and which is used on the title page of the present work. In the preface, Marechal explains that the volume is not intended to be very big but is long enough to fill just those moments in which Love makes a truce with Pleasure in order to render it more piquant. The miscellany is preceded by an 'Epître aux Femmes' and an 'Envoi' to Madame L.B.D.S.J.; it concludes with a table of verses in which are listed the tunes to which the various poems can be sung.
Includes a poem inspired by events written up in the Gazette de France in Oct. or Nov. 1776. cf. p. 190 (see note in Hollis).
Cioranescu 42496; Cohen-de Ricci coll. 678-679; Gay I 388.More details Price: £800.00
Fifty Lyrical Ballads.
By Thomas Haynes Bayly.
Bath, Mary Mayler, 1829.
First Edition. 4to, (238 x 190 mm), pp. [iv], 80, entirely untrimmed, in the original drab boards, worn at extremities with spine delicate, most of the printed paper label still present, foxing to endleaves but the text generally very clean, inscribed on the title-page ‘Mrs D... (?) From the Author’.
A presentation copy of this attractively produced volume of songs printed by Mary Mayler, who ran one of Bath’s most successful bookshops, lending libraries and… (more)
A presentation copy of this attractively produced volume of songs printed by Mary Mayler, who ran one of Bath’s most successful bookshops, lending libraries and publishing houses. A note on the verso of the title-page states that the volume was privately printed: ‘These songs are all published with Music, but being the Property of various Persons, the Author has not the power of publishing them collectively. This Volume has therefore been printed for private circulation’.
Produced at the height of Bayly’s fame when his reputation as lyric poet and songwriter made him a popular feature at fashionable soirées in Bath, at one of which he met his future wife, Helena Beecher Hayes. This privately produced volume was evidently intended as a gracious compliment for favours received: this presentation copy is one of a number of presentation copies extant (unfortunately the inscription on the title-page is hard to read: Mrs Davison? Mrs Davinay?).
The volume includes many of his most famous songs, such as ‘I’d be a butterfly born in a bower’ (p. 28), composed on his wedding journey at Lord Ashdown’s villa near Southampton. The notes at the end of this work include a Latin version of that song composed by Francis Wrangham. 1829 also marked the year that Bayly moved to London and embarked on his theatrical career, one at which he enjoyed a fair success and which saw him through financially when the combined blow of loss of income from his Irish estates and the collapse of his coalmining investments hit him in 1831 and it became necessary for him to support his family by writing.More details Price: £350.00
Histoire de M. le Marquis de Cressy,
Traduite de l’Anglois par Madame de ***.
First Edition. 12mo in eights and fours, (162 x 92mm), pp. [ii], 176, 3 errata, text a little browned and creased in part, in contemporary mottled calf, slightly rubbed, head and tail of spine slightly chipped, marbled endpapers, red edges, with the contemporary ownership inscription of Ernest d’Aumont.
First edition of one of Riccoboni’s scarcer early novels. Written in the third person, as against the epistolary form that came to be her preferred… (more)
First edition of one of Riccoboni’s scarcer early novels. Written in the third person, as against the epistolary form that came to be her preferred genre (although some ten letters are given in the body of the text and those mostly in the first half), Histoire de M. le Marquis de Cressy is an analytical sentimental novel in which the egotistical and ambitious Cressy seeks, Valmont-like, to forward his career and his fortune through a series of well-placed seductions. Riccoboni’s interest, as always, lies in the collateral damage done to the female characters through their involvement with the hero and it is in the subtlety and astuteness of Riccoboni’s psychological analysis that the strength of the novel lies.
‘The best [of Riccoboni’s novels] is her Histoire de M. le marquis de Cressy (1758), in which the conflict of motive happens to be in the mind of a man. The middle-aged marquis has engaged the affections of a young girl, and for a moment hesitates between the charm of her youth and the worldly advantages of marriage with a beautiful widow who will second his ambitions. He writes one of those sophistical letters in which Madame Riccoboni excelled, explaining to the unfortunate girl that although his heart burns for her he must sacrifice his dreams of happiness. She feels that life for her is over, and takes the veil, bidding her perfidious lover adieu. She loves him yet, though she knows now that she has loved an illusion: it is not the lover that is most regretted, but the sentiment, the enchantment that has flown, the bliss of loving. That is the consolation of the sentimentalist’ (Ernest Albert Baker, The History of the English Novel, v.1 p. 137).
This was a very popular novel, with several other editions of the French text following in 1758 and subsequent years. An English translation was published in 1765 under the title The History of the Marquis of Cressy. Translated from the French (Block p. 197).
OCLC lists BN, BL, Göttingen, London Library, British Columbia, UCLA, Yale and Williams College.
MMF 58:17; Cioranescu 53041.
L’Ami des femmes.
12mo, pp. 182, , in contemporary English speckled calf, ruled border to covers, spine ruled in gilt with red morocco label lettered in gilt.
An attractive copy of this Rousseau inspired handbook for young women. First published in 1758 and a best-seller in France, Boudier de Villemert’s text discusses… (more)
An attractive copy of this Rousseau inspired handbook for young women. First published in 1758 and a best-seller in France, Boudier de Villemert’s text discusses women's rank in society and suggests possible reforms to this. Neatly arranged in chapters by subject, it discusses the education of girls and their suitable occupations; it talks of luxury and dress, love, gallantry and marriage, condemning idleness and cosmetics and advocating maternal breast-feeding. It was published in English as The Ladies Friend, but not until 1766, which explains the English binding on this considerably earlier French edition.
‘Ce n’est ici ni une parodie, ni une imitation de l’Ami des Hommes. Cet Ouvrage a un caractère particulier, qui pourroit bien ne faire que de mauvais Copistes; mais il m’a fourni l’idée d’adresser aux Femmes quelques avis, & de discuter avec elles leurs propres intérêts. Il convenoit de prendre un ton moins haut, & d’aller, pour ainsi dire, terre à terre avec nos belles Philosophes... Je souhaite que ces idées de réforme ne leur déplaisent pas’ (Avertissement).
See Cioranescu 13039-13043.More details Price: £200.00
Le Sacrifice De L’Amour;
ou La Messe de Cythere; suivi du Sermon prèché a Gnide, et d’un nouveau Dictionnaire d’Amour, dans lequel on trouvera plusieurs pièces inédites ou peu connues, telles que l’Art de prendre les oiseaux, ou les leçons de l’amour, poëme anacréontique; les articles les plus piquans du Dictionnaire d’Amour du berger Sylvain; la plus grande partie de ceux du Dictionnaire d’Amour qui parût à la Haye, en 1741; et une foule de morceaux extraits des meilleurs écrivains anciens et modernes.
‘Sybaris’, ie. Bordeaux, ‘l’Imprimeur Ordinaire du Plaisir’, 1809.
First Edition. 12mo (183 x 100 mm), 8vo, pp. [xvi], 17-313,  errata,  blank; some foxing and browning in the text, uncut throughout recased in contemporary marbled wrappers with later card pastedowns, lacking free endpapers.
A scarce collection of works on the theme of love put together by Jean Baptiste de Saincric who was inspired to do so because of… (more)
A scarce collection of works on the theme of love put together by Jean Baptiste de Saincric who was inspired to do so because of the rarity of the original publications. A Bordeaux doctor who specialised in medical hygiene and forensics, Saincric wrote widely on the medical topography of Bordeaux and its surroundings. He was a member of the Académie de Bordeaux and was twice president of the Société de Médecine de Bordeaux in 1824 and 1837. Dedicated to ‘Sophie’, this work is a book of parts, with ‘Avis de l’Editeur’, ‘Suite de la note du libraire’ and ‘Introduction’ by way of prefatory material, then the title work, ‘Le Sacrifice de l’Amour, ou la Messe de Cythere’ (pp. 17-48) and ‘Sermon prêché a Gnide, a la Cérémonie du Mai, par le berger Sylvain’ (pp. 49-63). The major part of the volume is the dictionary of amorous terms, which is taken largely from Marechal’s Dictionnaire d’Amour, 1788, with additional material from the earlier Dictionnaire de l’Amour, dans lequel on trouvera l’explication des termes les plus usité dans cette langue, 1741 by Jean-François Dreux du Radier. An index follows the dictionary.
‘The Little Dictionary of Love has become very rare; you can only find it in very few libraries. It therefore seemed urgent to offer a new edition of it, corrected and augmented. In taking on this work, we believe we are performing an essential service to the fervent lovers of Venus and of his dear son. We have not, moreover, omitted anything which might make this new Dictionary worthy of public favour. It collects together the most striking articles by berger Sylvain with a work which was published anonymously at the Hague in 1741; and we have improved it with a host of pleasant pieces, taken from the best writers’.
OCLC lists BN, BL, Cambridge, Amsterdam, McGill and Stanford.
Cioranescu 42536; Gay III, 1059.
Les Souvenirs de Félicie L***.
Par Mme de Genlis. Seconde Edition.
Paris, Maradan, 1806.
Second Edition. 12mo, (168 x 88mm), pp. 394, in slightly later dark blue half morocco over green marbled boards, spine simply ruled and lettered in gilt, all edges green, with the ownership inscription ‘E. ? Nugent’ and the later bookplate of Anthony Surtees.
The first edition of this work was published by Maradan in 1804, although it had been serialised in the Bibliothèque des Romans and parts of… (more)
The first edition of this work was published by Maradan in 1804, although it had been serialised in the Bibliothèque des Romans and parts of it had been pirated and printed in various journals. It was enormously popular and ran to several editions. A continuation was published, also by Maradan, under the title Suite des Souvenirs de Félicie, Paris 1807. With a dedication to Madame de Genlis’ brother, the original preface to the 1804 edition in which she discusses the work’s early popularity and compares it to the Souvenirs of Madame de Caylus and of Madame Necker. It also includes the fictional introduction by the editor of the works of the late eponymous author.
‘Cet ouvrage superficiel et frivole n’est fait ni pour les penseurs ni pour les philosophes, mais il plaira peut-êtreà ceux qui aiment le naturel et la variété’ (Avertissement de l’Editeur des OEuvres posthumes de madame de L***, p. 11).
See Cioranescu 30650.More details Price: £100.00
of the Right Honourable Lady M----y W----y M----e: written during her travels in Europe, Asia, and Africa, to persons of distinction, men of letters, &c. in different parts of Europe. Which contain among other curious relations, accounts of the policy and manners o the Turks; Drawn from Sources that have been inaccessible to other Travellers. A New Edition. To which are now first added, Poems, by the same Author. In two volumes. Vol. I [-II].
London, Cadell, 1784.
New Edition. Two volumes, 8vo, pp. ix, [i], [ii] Advertisement of the Editor, 220; [iv], 272, small piece torn from the margin of II, 33, in contemporary tree calf, gilt border to covers, flat spines elaborately gilt in compartments, red labels lettered in gilt and red oval numbering pieces set in green morocco labels, gilt, with the contemporary heraldic bookplates of Robert Hunter of Thurston and the later booklabel of Douglas Grant.
A very handsome copy of this scarce edition of Mary Wortley Montagu’s seminal travelogue, first published in 1763. The preface, by Mary Astell (1666-1731), was… (more)
A very handsome copy of this scarce edition of Mary Wortley Montagu’s seminal travelogue, first published in 1763. The preface, by Mary Astell (1666-1731), was composed in 1724 for Montagu’s manuscript letters.
‘Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s husband was appointed ambassador to the Porte in 1716, and she accompanied him to Constantinople. During her sojourn in Turkey she recorded her observations and experiences in a journal (destroyed after her death) which provided material for her actual letters to her friends, of which only a few survive, and for the series of 52 letters which she composed a few years after her return to England. These are not actual letters, though headed and dated close to the dates of real letters. The form is partly fiction but provides the substance of her life abroad and her opinions on Turkish life and customs ‘ (Blackmer).
ESTC t66781; Rothschild 1452; Blackmer 1150.More details Price: £300.00
Mémoires d’une Religieuse,
Ecrits par Elle-Même; et recueillis par M. de L... Première [-Seconde] Partie.
Amsterdam, l’Esclapart & la Veuve Duchesne, 1766.
First Edition. Two volumes in one, 12mo (160 x 89 mm), pp. [iv], xii, 208; [iv], 208, with the half-titles, markings from previous wrappers visible on half-titles, in nineteenth century quarter calf over marbled boards, spines simply decorated in gilt, red and black morocco labels lettered and numbered in gilt, marbled edges, green silk markers, with a slightly later inscription on the front endpaper (perhaps contemporary with the binding) about the nature of the text and its authorship (see below).
Scarce first edition of these false nun’s memoirs, purportedly written by herself, but in fact penned by a cleric, Pierre Charpentier de Longchamps, member of… (more)
Scarce first edition of these false nun’s memoirs, purportedly written by herself, but in fact penned by a cleric, Pierre Charpentier de Longchamps, member of the Académie de la Rochelle. The novel is a tale brimming with intrigue in which the misfortunes and romantic adventures of a young girl are narrated with some gusto. At the end of it all, the heroine undergoes a conversion and becomes a nun.
It was later republished under the title La soeur Adélaïde, ses égaremens et ses vertus, ses foiblesses et son repentir, ouvrage posthume du plus éloquent écrivain de ce siècle, ‘Au Paraclet’, 1785. The reference to the ‘plus éloquent écrivain de ce siècle’ on the title page was intended to pass the work off as if by Rousseau, no doubt to cash in on his saleability (see Barbier IV 508, 'on a voulu passer cet ouvrage comme etant de J.J. Rousseau').
A previous owner has made the following observation in a neat hand: ‘il est assez singulier qu’un ecclésiastique, l’abbé de Longchamps, membre de l’Académie de la Rochelle, ait composé, avec un soin complaisant, ce roman d’amour, dont quelques tableaux sont d’une grande nudité’.
MMF 66.31; Gay III, 154 (giving 1725, which MMF suggest is an error for the 1785 edition); Cioranescu 40816.
OCLC lists Maryland, Texas and BN (Marie Antoinette’s copy).
Mémoires de Messire Pierre de Bourdeille,
Seigneur de Brantome, contenans les Vies des Dames Illustres de France de son temps.
Leiden, Jean Sambix, 1665.
First Edition. 12mo, (127 x 75mm), pp. [vi], [ii] blank, 407, ; small marginal tear on p. 363, just touching the text but with no loss, in contemporary vellum, sturdy but a little spotted and browned, slightly spine lettered in ink.
The first and most famous of Brantôme’s Mémoires, this volume includes the outspoken Vies des Dames Illustres. Written after his retirement from public life in… (more)
The first and most famous of Brantôme’s Mémoires, this volume includes the outspoken Vies des Dames Illustres. Written after his retirement from public life in 1589, Brantôme had left instructions that his Mémoires should be published, but it was not until 1665 that this first volume appeared. Written in a frank, conversational manner, Brantôme describes his years at the centre of the glittering court and gives detailed and highly personal accounts of his contemporaries. His accounts give a highly colourful picture of court life and his descriptions of the sex lives of the ladies of the court are striking because of his ability to present graphic detail in a straightforward and almost bland style, as if he were talking about the weather.
OCLC lists BN, Sainte-Geneviève, Oxford, Cambridge, Aberdeen, Harvard, Princeton, Suny, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Penn and James Munroe Museum.
Tchemerzine, II, pp. 110-111.
Mémoires de Miledi B...
Par Madame R.., Première [-Quatrième] Partie.
Amsterdam, Cuissart, 1760.
First Edition. Four parts in two volumes, 12mo (134 x 70 mm), pp. [iv], 152; [ii], 119; [ii], 130; [ii], 159, in contemporary green goatskin, gilt triple fillet to covers, spines gilt in compartments with red goatskin labels lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers, gilt edges, with the contemporary booklabel of the ‘Bibliotheque de Madame de la Borde’, the gilt orange leather Rosebery booklabel, with Rosebery’s purchase note and auction slip pasted to front endpaper and the Mentmore stamp on the first title page in each volume (parts 1 and 3).
A scarce sentimental novel about a young lady brought up in Scotland by her widowed father with the help of a faithful governess and servant.… (more)
A scarce sentimental novel about a young lady brought up in Scotland by her widowed father with the help of a faithful governess and servant. His final instructions to her before dying is that she should leave the country of her birth and go to France to live with an aunt in Paris. A romanticised portrait of the heroine’s solitary upbringing in the wilds of Scotland is contrasted with the whirl of Paris where she is introduced into high society and becomes something of a sensation: ‘Elevée dans une grotte, loin du commerce des hommes, je devins singulière, aussi curieuse à voir qu’un Siamois ou un Persan... Je devins donc une mode, une fantaisie qu’il falloit voir, louer & admirer’ (IV, 49-50). Welcomed by the suitably named ‘Monsieur de Villebrun’ and the oddly named ‘Milord Workinscheton’, the plot gives a colourful background to discussions of class, identity and innocence.
This novel has often been attributed to Madame Riccoboni because of the misleading ‘Avis du Libraire’ in the first volume, in which Riccoboni’s best selling novels are cited: ‘L’Accueil que le Public a fait aux Lettres de Mistris Fanni, &c. & à celle de Miladi Juliette, m’ont engagé à lui présenter les Mémoires de Miledi B... Je serai satisfait s’il les reçoit avec autant d’empressement. Dans peu j’espère mettre au jour un autre Ouvrage du même Auteur’. A popular novel, it ran to a second edition in the same year and was reprinted in 1761 and 1764. A Polish translation was also published, Kalwinka Na Pustyni Wychowana Albo Pamietnik Miledy B***, W Supraslu [Drukarnia Bazylianòw], 1788.
This is a delightful copy from the libraries of James T. Gibson Craig and the Earl of Rosebery, with the additional early female provenance of Madame de la Borde. An ink inscription by the Earl of Rosebery on the front endpaper notes ‘Gibson Craig sale 1887. Lot 1471’ and the 1887 auction slip is pasted in. Archibald Primrose, 5th Earl of Rosebery (1847-1929) was British Prime Minister from March 1894 until June 1895.
Cioranescu 35809 & 53044; MMF 60:20; Gay III, 142: ‘Roman intéressant et bien écrit’.
OCLC lists BN, Sainte-Geneviève and Augsburg.
Original Poems on Several Occasions.
By Miss Whateley.
London, Dodsley, 1764.
First Edition. 8vo, (210 x 135mm), pp. 9, [i], 24 list of subscribers, 11-117, ,  contents, p. 78 misnumbered p. 87, some light browning, slightly sprung, in contemporary quarter sheep over marbled boards, lower joint cracked, front joint detached, with Lord Kilmorey’s ownership inscription on the title-page, the Esher heraldic bookplate and the booklabel of Jim Edwards.
The author’s first book, published when she was 26. The daughter of William Whateley, a gentleman farmer at Beoley in Worcestershire, Miss Whateley appears to… (more)
The author’s first book, published when she was 26. The daughter of William Whateley, a gentleman farmer at Beoley in Worcestershire, Miss Whateley appears to have had little formal education but she loved literature and began to write poetry at an early age, contributing poems to the Gentleman’s Magazine as early as 1759. These, and some other poems in manuscript, attracted the attention of some distinguished contemporaries including William Shenstone, William Woty and John Langhorne, who set in motion a scheme to publish a volume by subscription, to which Langhorne contributed some prefatory verses. The 24 page subscription list contains some 600 names, including Elizabeth Carter, Erasmus Darwin, Mrs. Delany and one Rev. Mr. J. Darwell, the man Miss Whateley was to marry. John Darwall, Vicar of Walsall, was also a poet as well as a composer. The husband and wife together ran a printing press and she wrote songs for his congregation which he set to music. They also had six children together, to add to his six from a previous marriage.
The collection includes a number of pastoral poems - ‘artless rural Verse’ as she describes her ‘Elegy Written in a Garden (pp. 56-59) - several odes and poems addressed to individuals as well as some poems reflecting contemporary debate such as that ‘Occasioned by reading some Sceptical Essays’ (pp. 53-55). The final poem in the collection balances the prefatory verses supplied by one of her patrons: ‘To the Rev. Mr. J. Langhorne, on reading his Visions of Fancy, &c.’. Also included is a poem addressed to her future husband: ‘Ode to Friendship. Inscribed to the Rev. Mr. J. Darwall’:
‘Hail! Friendship, Balm of ev’ry Woe!
From thy pure Source Enjoyments flow,
Which Death alone can end:
Tho’ Fortune’s adverse Gales arise,
Tho’ Youth, and Health, and Pleasure flies,
Unmov’d remains the Friend’ (p. 101).
With a seven page dedication to the Hon. Lady Wrottesley, at Perton. The contents leaf, printed as part of the last signature, is here bound at the end. In some copies it has been bound at the front. Despite the wear to the spine, this is an appealing copy in an attractive contemporary binding. A Dublin edition was published later the same year.
Review of Poetry,
Ancient and Modern. A Poem. By Lady M******.
London, Booth, 1799.
First Edition. 4to, (280 x 220mm), pp. [iv], 30, uncut throughout, last leaf a little dust-soiled, stitched as issued, extremities a little worn.
A good, fresh copy in original condition, uncut and stitched as issued, of Lady Manners' poem about the history of poetry, dedicated to her son.… (more)
A good, fresh copy in original condition, uncut and stitched as issued, of Lady Manners' poem about the history of poetry, dedicated to her son. Originally from Cork, Catherine Rebecca Grey came to live in England in 1790 on her marriage to William Manners, later Lord Huntingtower of Leicester. The nostalgic Irish landscapes of her first volume of poetry, with its tales of lovers in Norman times, brought her much popularity, earning her the compliment, ‘a most accomplished lady’, in the Gentleman’s Magazine.
The present poem, Manners’ second and last publication, also received a favourable review in the Gentleman’s Magazine, where she was praised for succinctly characterising ‘the thematic and moral concerns of poets from ‘matchless Homer’ to ‘enlightened Johnson’. The extensive catalogue of ancient poets, including Pindar, Theocritus, Lucretius, and Tasso, and English poets since Chaucer, reveals discerning intelligence and wide reading. Poetry is enlisted to lead the way to moral truth; “Addison’s enlighten’d page / Charmed while it reformed the age”; and “Piety’s seraphic flame / Mark(s) enlighten’d Johnson’s name”’ (GM, August 1799).
ESTC t106175; Jackson p. 238.More details Price: £350.00
St. Margaret's Cave:
or, the Nun’s Story. An Ancient Legend. In four volumes. By Elizabeth Helme, author of Albert, Farmer of Inglewood Forest, Louisa, &c. &c. Vol. I [-IV].
London, Earle and Hemet, 1801.
First Edition. Four volumes, 12mo, (168 x 101mm), pp. xxviii, , -260; [iv], 294; [iv], 296; [iv], 320, with the half-titles, in contemporary green half calf over pink mottled boards, flat spines divided into compartments with triple gilt rules, lettered and numbered in gilt directly onto the spine, corners bumped and extremities a little worn, the top of the front board of vol. IV slightly crushed and upper compartment of spine a little dented, some sun bleaching to the colour on the boards, probably bound on the continent, from the Starhremberg library.
A very attractive copy of a scarce gothic novel by Elizabeth Helme, said by Janet Todd to be her most successful romance. A leading Minerva… (more)
A very attractive copy of a scarce gothic novel by Elizabeth Helme, said by Janet Todd to be her most successful romance. A leading Minerva novelist, Helme didn’t write predominantly in the gothic genre, but in this tale she experiments with it and follows Ann Radcliffe into the middle ages. The narrative is presented as an ancient manuscript chronicle of events that took place in fifteenth century Northumberland, Bremen and Denmark. At the centre of the plot is the attempt to establish Margaret as the legitimate daughter and rightful heir of Sir William Fitzwalter. This is eventually achieved through the help of the Austin, the Franciscan hermit who lives in St. Margaret’s cave, which is connected to Castle Fitzwalter by secret subterranean passages.
Following the triumphant success of Helme’s Louisa, or the Cottage on the Moor, 1787, which was a best-seller in England and on the continent, St. Margaret’s Cave was published in French as La Caverne de Sainte-Marguerite, Paris 1803 and in German as Die Margarethenhöle oder die Nonnenerzählung, Berlin 1803. A second edition was published by the Minerva Press in 1819.
As well as the obvious influence of Ann Radclife, it is interesting that Janet Todd also speaks of the influence of Restif de la Bretonne’s narratives and William Godwin’s philosophy. ‘Although derivative of other writers, such as Radcliffe and Marivaux, she tells her tales well and smoothly, and her conventional plots, of fair maids, noble sons, hidden identities and aristocratic property rights, hold the reader’s interest without much recourse to suspense and horror’ (Janet Todd, Dictionary of British and American Women Writers, p. 160).
‘[Elizabeth Helme’s] interest centres in personal morality and its relationship with class and wealth; her women are often spirited and independent-minded’ (Feminist Companion to Literature in English).
Garside, Raven & Schöwerling 1801: 32; Summers p. 493; Block, p. 101.More details Price: £4,800.00
Tableau du siècle.
Par un Auteur Connu.
First Edition. 12mo, (165 x 88mm), pp. [iv], xix, [i], 227, , in contemporary mottled calf, flat spine gilt in continuous pattern, red morocco label lettered in gilt.
A selection of light-hearted essays on a number of subjects including women, justice, monks, literature and fashion. The author, an obscure writer called Nolivos Saint-Cyr,… (more)
A selection of light-hearted essays on a number of subjects including women, justice, monks, literature and fashion. The author, an obscure writer called Nolivos Saint-Cyr, was a captain in the infantry and a self-styled 'comédien', who sometimes signed himself 'Laval'. G. Monval published a biography of him in 1902, is entitled Un Comédien nomade, mort aux Invalides. His Tableau du Siècle is written in an easy, readable style and covers a range of entertaining and at times contentious subjects. One nice aspect of his style is the creation of characters to illustrate his points, so that instead of writing, for example, 'all women are dreadful', he writes 'all women are dreadful. Emilie was born into a rich family &c. &c.' and brings the particular vice or virtue to life with a little story.
'Si la religion est le prétexte de tout, les femmes en sont la veritable cause … On peut dire enfin, avec vérité, que si les femmes conduisent & reglent tout, elles travaillent à se render dignes d'être consultées. C'est, à les bien définir, un melange de légéreté, & de prudence; d'amour des plaisirs, & de respect pour la vertu; de bonté, & de vengeance; d'ambition & de générosité: En un mot, les femmes de notre siécle sont de véritables caméléons' (p. 31).
OCLC lists Princeton, Minnesota, Santa Barbara and Cornell.
Cioranescu 48360.More details Price: £450.00
The Fables of John Dryden,
ornamented with Engravings from the pencil of the Right Hon. Lady Diana Beauclerc.
London, T. Bensley for J. Edwards, 1797.
First Editions. Folio, (370 x 257mm), pp. [iv], xviii, 241, with nine engraved plates and fourteen part page engravings; engraved frontispiece and pp. [vii], [i], 35, , with four further engraved plates and four part page engravings, in parallel text, most of the paper guards still present at the plates, in a contemporary Irish black goatskin binding, gilt border to covers, spine gilt in compartments, lettered in gilt, extremities rubbed, contemporary inscription on the title page ‘W. Maguire’, the binding by George Mullen of Dublin, with his ticket.
A good copy in an Irish binding of these two works lavishly illustrated by Lady Diana Beauclerk. The daughter of Charles Spencer, 3rd Duke of… (more)
A good copy in an Irish binding of these two works lavishly illustrated by Lady Diana Beauclerk. The daughter of Charles Spencer, 3rd Duke of Marlborough, Lady Di, as she was known, suffered two miserable marriages, the first to Frederick St. John, 2nd Viscount Bolingbroke, during which they were both notoriously unfaithful, and the second to Topham Beauclerk (1739-1780), the great-grandson of Nell Gwyn and Charles II. Beauclerk was a close friend of Dr. Johnson and was known for his brilliant conversation, but he was also famous for his ill-humour and lack of personal hygiene: Fanny Burney recorded Edmund Burke’s reaction to the death of Beauclerk: ‘I never, myself, so much enjoyed the sight of happiness in another, as in that woman when I first saw her after the death of her husband’.
‘During [the years following her divorce] Lady Diana's artistic talents became particularly evident: she practised portraiture, and her enormous output of small drawings of fat cupids entangled in branches of grapes and little girls wearing mob caps gave place to larger and more ambitious groups of peasantry introduced into landscaped backgrounds. She worked chiefly in pen and ink, pastel, and watercolour. Essentially a designer, she successfully executed seven large panels in ‘soot ink’ (black wash), mounted on Indian blue damask and illustrating Horace Walpole's tragedy The Mysterious Mother. Apt to overrate her skills, Walpole placed these at Strawberry Hill in a specially designed hexagonal room named the Beauclerc closet. At the same time he opined absurdly that ‘Salvator Rosa and Guido could not surpass their expression and beauty’ (Anecdotes of Painting, 24.524). Lady Diana also enjoyed the patronage of Josiah Wedgwood, probably from 1785, when her designs, mostly those of laughing bacchanalian boys, were translated as bas-reliefs onto jasper ornaments, plates, and jugs; they proved to be enormously popular. In 1796 she illustrated the English translation of G. A. Burger's ballad Leonora and in 1797 The Fables of John Dryden; in both cases her illustrations were engraved mostly by Francesco Bartolozzi’ (ODNB). The other engravings in the Dryden are by Vandenberg, Cheeseman and Gardiner.
ESTC t128162; t93829.More details Price: £800.00
or, the Sylphid Queen: a Fairy Tale. In Verse. Illustrated with elegant engravings.
London, J. Harris, 1809.
First Edition. engraved frontispiece and pp. [iv], 52, with five further engraved plates, some with marginal dampstaining, in red quarter roan over marbled boards, printed paper label on the front board, extremities worn, spine ruled in gilt.
A delightfully illustrated verse fairy tale by Alicia Lefanu, Irish novelist, biographer and poet, member of the literary clan that included Frances, Thomas and Richard… (more)
A delightfully illustrated verse fairy tale by Alicia Lefanu, Irish novelist, biographer and poet, member of the literary clan that included Frances, Thomas and Richard Brinsley Sheridan. This is Lefanu’s first published work, in which she introduces a number of strong female characters. Her subsequent works included fables for young girls, Byronic romances and historical novels as well as an important biography of Frances Sheridan.
‘In The Flowers... Lefanu adopts the romantic quest narrative of fairy tale and fantasy in order to grant her child audience sufficient independence to make moral judgments on their own. The texts do this by demonstrating the inculcation of self-governance in [its] protagonists, as well as tasking the reader to make an objective analysis of hte stories’ moral decision-making. Subsequently, Lefanu’s texts stretch the reader’s ability to empathize with, and make relevant to the real world, the stories’ various fantastic difficulties of the heart... Moreover, Lefanu’s strategic literary device allows her subtly to champion alternative and non-traditional female role models for young children, as well as resist the literary patterning of male transcendence usually associated with the romantic quest narrative’ (Jamison, Annie, Children’s Susceptible Minds: Alicia Lefanu and the “Reasoned Imagination” in Georgian Children’s Literature’ in Studies in Romanticism, Vol. 52, 2013, p. 587).
Well received by contemporary readers, the Gentleman’s Magazine commented, ‘Much credit is due to the fair Author of this neat little Poem; whose harmonious numbers strongly inculcate an excellent moral’ (GM, March 1810).
Cotsen Catalogue 3444.; Moon, John Harris’s Books for Youth, 1801-1843, 477.
The History of Cornelia.
Dublin, John Smith, 1750.
First Dublin Edition. 12mo (175 x 110mm), pp. [iv], 271,  advertisements, small marginal tear to the final leaf, advertisements a little obscured by staining, some intermittent browning, bound in contemporary mottled calf, some surface abrasion to both covers, more noticeable on the front cover, plain spine with raised bands and red morocco label lettered and ruled in gilt, with the contemporary ownership inscription of ‘Hen Moore 1750’ on the front pastedown.
The scarce first Dublin edition of Sarah Scott’s first novel, written shortly before her marriage and nine years after she had contracted smallpox. At the… (more)
The scarce first Dublin edition of Sarah Scott’s first novel, written shortly before her marriage and nine years after she had contracted smallpox. At the time, smallpox was regarded as disastrous for a woman on account of its harmful effect on physical beauty which would lower a woman’s value in the marriage market. The illness had had a life-changing impact on Scott and her literary output as it directed her away from a life of ‘social success... towards a life dedicated to writing, domestic female friendship and Christian philanthropy’. The circumstances of Scott’s disastrous marriage and its abrupt end have never been revealed, but in 1752, her family intervened and removed her from her husband’s home, after which she went to Bath to live with her earlier companion, Lady Barbara Montagu (c. 1722-1765). Here they established a small community, offering a basic education in literacy, numeracy and needlework to poor children, particularly to young girls. Scott started writing again in order to help with the expenses of their philanthropic projects. It was this community, and its underlying philosophy, that was to inspire her most well-known work, the utopian A Description of Millenium Hall and the Country Adjacent, 1778.
This is one of only two editions of The History of Cornelia, which was first published by A. Millar in London, earlier the same year (ESTC t119494, at BL, Cambridge, Bodleian, Bristol, Hull, Cornell, Harvard, Huntington, Indiana, Newberry, Ohio State, Princeton, Stanford, Alberta, British Columbia, Bncroft, Clark, Chicago, Illinois, Penn and Yale).
ESTC t68564, BL and National Library of Ireland only.
Raven 39; see Block p. 209.
The Lady's Drawing Room
Being a Faithful Picture of the Great World. In which the various Humours of both Sexes are display'd. Drawn from the Life: and Interspers'd with entertaining and affecting Novels. The Second Edition. Revised and Corrected by the Author.
London, Millar, 1748.
Second Edition, 'Revised and Corrected by the Author'. 12mo, pp. [ii], iv, 329,  advertiesements, in contemporary calf, heavily rubbed but sound, double fillet border to covers, spine with five raised bands, ruled in gilt.
'There is no Place whatever, in which the Ladies have so much the Opportunity of shewing themselves to Advantage, as in their own Drawing Rooms'.… (more)
'There is no Place whatever, in which the Ladies have so much the Opportunity of shewing themselves to Advantage, as in their own Drawing Rooms'. So begins this beguiling work which boasts the inclusion of love stories, adventure stories, imaginary voyages and eastern mystique, all narrated from the excellent Ethelinda's drawing room. 'An 'assembly' collection of brief amorous novels, imaginary voyages, and moral histories, told to each other by the daily visitors to the drawing room of the beautiful Ethelinda, who has banished cards and gossip in favour of the edifying art of storytelling' (Beasley). The work is divided into six 'days', each with an introduction, describing those present and setting the drawing room in the wider context of society (guests coming on from dinner; balls thrown for all the assembled company), the narration of a short story by one of the guests and a final open discussion of the issues raised in the story.
The six novellas included are 'The History of Rodomond, and the Beautiful Indian' (pp. 13-42); 'The Fair Unfortunate, a true Secret History' (pp. 50-77); 'The True History of Henrietta de Bellgrave. A Woman born only for Calamities: a distres'd Virgin, unhappy Wife, and most afflicted Mother', Wrote by herself for the Use of her Daughter' (pp. 101-174); 'The Adventures of Marilla' (pp. 212-232); 'The Story of Berinthia' (pp. 238-254) & 'The History of Adrastus, Semanthe, and Apamia' (pp. 257-268); 'The History of Clyamon and Constantia, or the Force of Love and Jealousy' (pp. 289-328). In addition to the main short stories in each part there are numerous anecdotes, amusing incidents such as amorous verses accidentally falling out of pockets, a mock proposal to parliament for reforming taxes and many other such whimsical conversation pieces, making the cement with which these stories are held together every bit as interesting as the texts themselves. The third novella, 'The True History of Henrietta of Bellgrave', is an imaginary voyage to the East Indies; it was frequently reprinted as a chapbook in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The first edition was published in 1744 (ESTC t80582 Feb '03 lists BL, Cambridge, NLS, Glasgow, McMaster, Yale, Clark, Folger, Newberry, Minnesota & Harvard) and a Dublin edition appeared in 1746. It was reprinted under the title The Memoirs of Lydia Tongue-Pad in 1768 and later selections were published, particularly of 'The True History of Henrietta of Bellgrave' (see above) and continuations. A Russian translation, by Daniil Petrov, was published under the title Zhenskaia ubornaia komnata, Moskva 1781. More recently, it was published by Garland as part of the The Flowering of the Novel series, New York 1974. It has sometimes been attributed to Grace Percivall and E.W. Stackhouse but it is generally given as anonymous.
ESTC t65815, at BL, Clark, Bancroft, Lilly, Newberry, Chicago and Illinois only.
Gove p. 308; see Hardy 97More details Price: £400.00
The Pastor's Fire-Side,
a Novel, in Four Volumes. By Miss Jane Porter, author of Thaddeus of Warsaw, Sidney’s Aphorisms, and the Scottish Chiefs. Vol. I [-IV].
London, Longman &c., 1817.
First Edition. Four volumes, 12mo (168 x 94 mm), pp. [ii], 323; [ii],405; [ii], 403; [ii], 500, lacking the half-titles, in contemporary red half-morocco over red and blue marbled boards, flat spines ruled, lettered and numbered in gilt, marbled edges, with an early ownership inscription partly cropped from the title-pages and a small heraldic booklabel lettered ‘M.A.’ in each volume.
An attractive copy of this popular historical romance by Jane Porter, set in the eighteenth century in Lindisfarne and following the fortunes of the members… (more)
An attractive copy of this popular historical romance by Jane Porter, set in the eighteenth century in Lindisfarne and following the fortunes of the members of the royal house of Stuart. The villain in The Pastor’s Fire-Side, Duke Wharton, is said to have been based on Lord Byron. Thomas McLean, in his essay ‘Jane Porter and the Wonder of Lord Byron’, describes Wharton as having ‘an unmistakably Byronic shadow’.
‘This novel shows a more than usually acute sense of local colour in its delineation of the area around Lindisfarne, of which Porter may have refreshed her early acquaintance when she went in 1804 to nurse her friend the man of letters Percival Stockdale’ (Dorothy McMillan in ODNB). The Porters lived around Bamburgh and Lindisfarne during Jane’s youth.
Garside, Raven & Schöwerling 1817:49.