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A History of Slavery and its Abolition. Second edition, with an Appendix
London: Published by Houlston & Stoneman, 1839 Second edition, enlarged by a sixty-two page appendix. It is unclear whether there are also textual changes between the first edition of 1836 and the present edition. In any event, both editions are scarce, and the first is rare: OCLC locates seven copies, three in America and four in Britain. Original green blindstamped cloth, expertly recased. . Twelvemo. Frontisportrait of Thomas Clarkson (dampstained at upper margin, not affecting image). Dedication to Clarkson and to Joseph Sturge, Esq. Spine a bit dull. A very good copy. Esther Copley (née Beuzeville, 1786-1851) was the daughter of a wealthy silk merchant and the wife of James Philip Hewlett, Oxford cleric, and later of William Copley, a Baptist minister in Oxford. She was a prolific writer of children's tales, tracts, works of domestic economy, and sacred history and biography. The subjects of her domestic works included household management, the care and education of children, the treatment of illnesses, and a comprehensive book on knitting. Her children's books were generally moral tales, but also included studies of the Scripture and a natural history for youth. The present work, also aimed at a young audience, is generally considered her most important. "More than 500 pages in length, the History austerely informed its readers that the origin of slavery was to be found in 'human depravity' (History, 12). But this theological explanation did not prevent Mrs Copley from tracing the course of slavery from scriptural times to her own day. Her youthful audience was spared neither graphic descriptions of the sufferings of black slaves in the West Indies nor lengthy accounts of the proceedings of the anti-slavery movement. Ironically, only three pages were devoted to the role of ladies' anti-slavery societies in a work which was, in itself, a witness to the significant commitment of nonconformist women to the anti-slavery cause" (Oxford DNB).
      [Bookseller: Michael R. Thompson, Booksellers, ABAA/I]
Last Found On: 2013-01-08           Check availability:      IOBABooks    


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