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Walsingham; or, The Pupil of Nature. A domestic story. 2nd edn. 4 vols.
Printed at the Minerva Press for Lane, Newman, & Co. 1805 - Half titles. Contemp. half calf, spines lettered & with simple horizontal rules in gilt; spines worn & sl. cracked, small repairs to leading hinges. Armorial bookplates of Sir Henry Hay Macdougall. A good sound copy of a scarce title Scarce. First published in 1797, this second edition recorded only in BL & Leeds. In the first three volumes of Walsingham, the title character is shown to have a rival in Sir Sidney Aubrey, the ?seducer? of the woman he loves. In the fourth volume it is revealed that Sir Sidney is in fact a woman who uses the disguise of a rich male baronet to give her freedoms denied to women in the late eighteenth-century. Mary Robinson ?Perdita?, 1757-1800, is notoriously remembered for her affair with the young Prince of Wales, capturing his heart after acting the part of Perdita on the London stage. Born in Bristol, Robinson was educated at the School run by Hannah More?s sister before moving to London and pursuing a successful career as an actress. ?She excelled in Shakespearean parts, bringing to them all the fascinations of romantic sensibility. Her Ophelia never failed to move the audience to tears and her performance as Juliet gained thunderous applause and rave reviews.? She married Thomas Robinson, ?a lecherous ne?er-do-well? in 1774 but continued to take lovers including, fatefully, Colonel Bastre Tarleton. His claim to have ?killed more men and ruined more women than anyone else in Europe? proved prophetic as Robinson suffered a miscarriage of Tarleton?s child losing as a consequence the use of her legs. Her acting career was immediately ended and she took to writing as her main source of income publishing four novels in the 1790s including the popular Gothic novel Vancenza in 1792 and Walsingham, her most enduring work of fiction, in 1797. Her poetry was much admired by Coleridge and Godwin and in 1798, encouraged by her friend Mary Wollstonecraft, she wrote Thoughts on the Conditions of Women, and on the Injustice of Mental Subordination. Both women were considered to be whores by ?respectable society and ?both came to feminism through the agonies of sensibility? Robinson?s poetry ?explores the wider ranges of humanitarian sensibility? and her ?plea in Walsingham on behalf of prostitutes and seduced women is as courageous as her demand [in the conditions of women] for a women?s university? Deserted by Tarleton who married an heiress half his age, Robinson died penniless and in great pain resulting from her earlier miscarriage. [Attributes: Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Jarndyce, The 19th Century Booksellers]
Last Found On: 2015-12-15           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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