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The Cottage in the Wood; or, The Art of Becoming Rich and Happy. 2nd edn. 18mo.
Bradford: T. Inkersley. 1818 - Engr. front. after F. James, sculpted by E. Stather; sl. offsetting on titlepage. Later 19th century full crimson crushed morocco, triple ruled gilt borders, raised bands, gilt compartments & dentelles, green & brown morocco labels. Bookplate of George John Armytage. v.g. 69pp. Brontë's tale emphasises the virtues of Christian conviction and restraint, and shows that a happy and loving relationship can only be achieved when the teachings of God have been truly accepted. Mary, the heroine, steadfastly rebuts the constant approaches of the dashing Mr Bower, as she cannot reconcile her absolute faith with his religious indifference. Only when he has accepted the Gospel can their lives be shared and true happiness be attained. Mr Bower, despite losing his fortune, becomes 'rich' through spiritual enlightenment, and the familial comforts that follow. In his preamble, Brontë emphasises his commitment to presenting the truth of human existence, and advises the reader against the artifice and deception apparent in the literature of the day. He is in no doubt as to the damaging nature of the current literary trends: 'The sensual novelist and his admirer, are beings of depraved appetites and sickly imaginations, who have learnt the art of self-tormenting, are diligently and zealously employed in creating an imaginary world, which they can never inhabit . The romantic author, overstepping the bounds of probability, will freely indulge in the miraculous . transforming beggars into kings and queens, and kings and queens into beggars . extracting the most unqualified approbation, and the tenderest sympathy from the pusilanimous reader, who has never yet been wise enough to admire the language of truth .' This remains one of the Brontë family's most difficult titles: two copies are recorded on COPAC, at the BL and Leeds, and there are no records of the title at auction. [Attributes: Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Jarndyce, The 19th Century Booksellers]
Last Found On: 2016-03-19           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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