Book Description

FIRST EDITION. Seven volumes. 8vos, incl. frontis portraits to first and final volumes, engraved by Edward Scriven, and additional engraved title pages to all vols., engraved by J. H. Kernot, six from drawings or sketches by Mrs Hemans. Full hard grain green morocco, five gilt-ruled raised bands, spine lettered in gilt, boards decorated in blind and gilt florally-tipped curlicues. All edges gilt. Yellow endpapers. Rubbed and worn at edges, extremities and joints, corners bumped; upper joint of vol.1 tender, white stains to lower board. Top edges dusty. Endpapers grubby, a number of front hinges starting, all bindings firm. Engraved portraits and title pages foxed, faint liquid staining to title page of vol. V, offsetting from text throughout. Inscribed in sepia pen to ffep of vol. I: “Marianne Egerton/ from her affect. Louisa/ Dec. 26 1839 --”, M. A. F. Cotton’s book labels to front pastedown of all vols, stain to bottom margins of last quarter of vol. VI. Else, clean and tidy. A robust set of this posthumous collected edition of Felicia Hemans’ extensive and celebrated oeuvre.
Dealer Notes
By her death in 1834, Hemans (b. 1793) was a literary celebrity with a mass market readership and Britain’s “most noted woman poet”. Like many Romantic women poets, however, her reputation suffered with the advent of modernism and it has taken decades of sustained critical engagement, beginning with feminist recuperations in the 1970s, for her rehabilitation. She is now recognised by many “as the most notable British poet flourishing between the death of Byron and the rise of Tennyson and the Brownings” (ODNB). Liverpool-born and Welsh by adoption, Hemans was a polyglot with pan-European interests and, though Byron was, privately, not a fan, she was a well-respected and well-networked member of the Romantic literati, counting William Wordsworth, Walter Scott, the Marys Howitt and Mitford, and the poet Maria Jane Jewsbury as friends. Hemans published 20 volumes and nearly 400 poems, as well as one play and prose pieces in the Edinburgh Monthly Magazine; her 1828 Records of Woman, about legendary and historic women, proved her most successful book, though she repeatedly returned to the subject of war in her poetry. The University of Liverpool awards the annual Felicia Hemans prize for lyrical poetry.
Louisa’s dedicatee is not Marianne Egerton, Lady Marian Alford (1817-1888), who, in 1839, was unmarried and still Compton by surname; sadly, the Boxing Day gift giver and her friend remain unidentified.
Author HEMANS, Felicia; BROWNE, Harriet (editor); [EGERTON, Marianne].
Date 1839
Publisher Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood & Sons and Thomas Cadell
Condition Very good-good+

Price: £225.00

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