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Almack's a novel
London: Saunders and Otley, 1827. In three volumes. xi, [1], 390; [4], 413, [3]; [4], 346pp. With half-titles, a terminal advertisement leaf to Vol. II, and a 4pp. publisher's catalogue bound to Vol. I. Uncut in original publisher's two-tone paper boards, printed paper lettering-pieces. A trifle rubbed, splitting to spines and joints. Contemporary ink ownership inscriptions to FEPs of all volumes; 'Richd. Jebb / Chirk - 1827', occasional light foxing, overall a very good copy. First printed in the same year as this third edition, Almack's, an anonymous and barely fictional 'silver fork novel' attributed to Marianne Spencer Stanhope Hudson, satirises those fashionable ladies and gentlemen of the London circuit in possession of membership to the eponymous social club. Almack's Assembly Rooms, established in 1765, was one of the first venues to permit entry to both men and women; providing naturally that one was of the upper class and not a member of the detested nouveau riche. Admission was strictly enforced by the Lady Patronesses, a select committee of the most influential and exclusive ladies of London's high society. Failure to rise to the standards expected of the committee would result in a person being refused entry, with no exceptions made; indeed the Duke of Wellington was once turned away for being improperly dressed. It is to these formidable women that the novel is dedicated, if somewhat mockingly and not without a note of bitterness; 'To that most distinguished and despotic conclave, composed of their High Mightinesses...The Rulers of Fashion, the Arbiters of Taste...whose sovereign sway over "the world" of London has long been established on the firmest basis, whose decrees are laws, and from whose judgment there is no appeal...the following pages, are with all due respect, humbly dedicated by an old subscriber.' The work adheres to the conventions of contemporary female fiction and owes much to the preceding generation of authors, borrowing as it does characterisations, plot devices, and even phrases from the novels of Jane Austen and Maria Edgeworth. . Third edition. 8vo.
      [Bookseller: Antiquates]
Last Found On: 2017-09-23           Check availability:      Biblio    

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