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Book Description

A scarce collection of topical verse, commenting on diverse aspects of contemporary life: the beauty and novelty of railway travel, Lord Ashley’s Factory Acts, the position of the Jews, the ‘London Season’, and fashionable people. Various authors are also selected for praise including Caroline Norton and Frances Trollope, also the particular the genius of Charles Dickens is singled out for his ability to hold an audience amongst rich and poor alike. Chit Chat ends with the lines ‘Though faulty be my lays, behold them here, / I am no Byron, that is Byroness, / I am no Shakespeare - cela va sans dire, / I only wish I were a “Lioness.”’ ‘Rose Ellen Hendriks, (fl. 1845–1856), novelist and poet, was of a Jewish family but raised as a Christian. Her early publications were historical novels, The Astrologer’s Daughter (1845) and Charlotte Corday (1846), in both of which she included introductory comments drawing attention to her youthfulness and desire for literary fame. The partly autobiographical The Young Authoress (1847) offers insights into the state of mind of a young female author through the character Rosalie de Rochequillon, ‘who seemed always in a wild fluttering ecstasy of literary hopes and fears—always talking of Dickens, or Bulwer, or Rose Ellen Hendriks’. The Idler Reformed (1846) mixes romance with the political question of the abolition of slavery, and Political Fame (1847) is a series of essays urging self-forgetfulness in favour of great causes. The title poem of The Wild Rose and other Poems (1847) allegorizes her life rather obscurely, and Chit-Chat (1849) which attempts social and literary satire in the manner of Byron reveals her disappointment at failing to become a ‘Lioness’. She announced her impending marriage in 1849 and published her last novel, Ella, the Ballet Girl, in 1851 under the name of Temple. In 1856 appeared a collection of poems inspired by paintings, The Poet’s Souvenir of Amateur Artists. Rhapsodic, didactic, often clumsy in narrative, over-eager to please the reader and over-fond of describing women with ‘luxuriant masses of dark hair waving in natural curls’ who ‘glide’ in and out of rooms, Rose Ellen Hendriks nevertheless displays herself as a writer of ambition, with ideas and passions, modelled on Mme de Staël’s Corinne. Like other women writers of the time, she agreed that genius was ‘a dangerous, a fatal gift, especially to a female’ while doing everything in her power to earn the appellation for herself. [ODNB] We can add a little more to the ODNB in that Rose was the daughter of Herman Hendriks or Hendricks and Abigail Rosetta Levien and was born in 1823 in Camden, London. Herman was born in 1788 at Mons, Manchester, Jamaica then part of the British West Indies and consequently a slave owner. He moved to England and married in 1821, Rose being the couples second child. Herman became a merchant and London stockbroker and a director of the British Commercial Life Insurance Company. He was in the bankruptcy court in 1826 but appears to have navigated out of that trouble. We know he also traded with North Carolina and thereafter seems to have been involved with several shady looking schemes! Rose married a Robert Temple in 1849 and by him had two sons, Willoughby and John, however by 1851 she stated she was a widow but then in 1852 had a daughter named Rose Emily Temple! She made her debut on stage as Lydia Languish in Sheridan’s The Rivals at the Olympic Theatre in March 1852 and a little later appeared at the Haymarket in a ‘comedietta’ Our New Lady’ Maid which was a flop, one newspaper reporting that ‘Her figure is rather petite, with pretty and intelligent features, but her qualifications for the stage are by no means apparent; she is in fact, an amateur whose insipidity her good looks cannot even redeem.’ We know that our author died in 1863 but apparently she was never a widow but instead may have separated from her husband who died in 1872. One would like to know more.
Dealer Notes
OCLC records four copies in the UK, at the BL, NLS, NLW and Oxford, and five in North America, at Stanford, Yale, Illinois, Western and Louisiana State.
Author HENDRIKS, Rose Ellen.
Date [1849]
Binding bound in the original decorative ‘rose’ coloured publisher’s cloth, covers stamped in gilt, spine lettered and tooled in gilt, light chipping to head and tail, and cloth abit dust-soiled, but still a desirable copy, nonetheless.
Publisher London: Kent and Richards, 51 & 52, Paternoster Row.
Condition FIRST EDITION. 8vo, pp. x, 140, [1] advertisement, [1] blank; with engraved frontispiece portrait of the author; save for some light foxing in places, a clean copy throughout;

Price: £300.00

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