Book Description

Stanhope, Lady Hester [Meryon, Charles Lewis] Memoirs of the Lady Hester Stanhope, as related by herself in conversations with her physician; comprising her opinions and anecdotes of some of the most remarkable persons of her time. Three Volumes. Henry Colburn. London. Volumes I & II first editions 1845; Volume III second edition 1846. Octavo. Title, xvii, (2), 394pp. Hand-coloured frontispiece plate of Lady Hester Stanhope on horseback, folding plan of Lady Hester Stanhope's residence at Joon; Title, vi, (1), 384pp. Engraved frontispiece of her saloon; Title, vii, 319, (1)pp. (Publisher's ads), Engraved frontispiece of Lady Hester Stanhope's residence at Joon on Mount Lebanon. Uniformly bound in contemporary half calf, marbled boards. Spines in six compartments with double gilt rules, leather labels, gilt lettering. Some commensurate shelf wear. Edges sprinkled red. Title page to Volume I partially detached with tear at gutter. Some foxing to the uncoloured plates. Occasional minor spotting, small marks etc. A handsome, crisp, firmly bound set. No inscriptions. These volumes were originally from a Welsh country house library. Stanhope, Lady Hester Lucy (1776–1839), traveller, adventurer, explorer, antiquarian. Hostess and secretary for her uncle, the Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger at 10 Downing Street. After Pitt's death in 1808 she escaped to Wales, The Rev. Thomas Price "Carnhuanawc" acting as her guide. Lady Stanhope leased Glan Irfon at Cilmeri; choosing it as being close to the spot where the last native prince of Wales of direct descent, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, was assassinated in 1282. Her letters reveal the fine detail of her decoration and furnishing of the house. Lady Stanhope left Britain in 1810 with her physician and later biographer, Charles Lewis Meryon and her maid Elizabeth Williams. Meryon's account reveals, "Until not finding herself so far removed from her English acquaintances, but what they were always coming across and breaking in upon her solitude, she resolved on going abroad, up the Mediterranean." Byron described Stanhope as "that dangerous thing, a female wit". From Greece, through the Mediterranean, she travelled to the Near and Middle East as a pioneering, eccentric and unorthodox female adventurer. Her unique style saw her dressed exotically in male attire, refusing to conform to traditional female dress. She initiated the first archaeological excavation in Palestine of Ashkelon, based on manuscript sources, lauded as the first use of modern archaeological principles. Until 1831, Lady Stanhope resided at Sidon, Lebanon with Dr Meryon. When he left for England, she moved to the abandoned monastery at Jou (Joon), Dahr El Sitt, where she lived until she died, destitute, in 1839. Charles Lewis Meryon RCP (1783–1877) English physician and biographer.
Author Stanhope, Lady Hester
Date 1845 & 1846
Binding Half calf
Publisher Henry Colburn.

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