(London: Published by the Editor, printed by A. Spottiswoode, New-Street-Square, ca. 1837). 277 x 208 mm. (10 7/8 x 8 1/8"). xvi, 152 pp. FIRST EDITION.
Contemporary purple pebble-grain morocco decorated in gilt and blind in the Romantic style, covers framed by triple blind-stamped fillet border with floral cornerpieces, blind-stamped floral roll around gilt frame with swirling scroll pieces, gilt titling in center surrounded by blind-stamped circular frame, raised bands, blind-stamped frame compartments with gilt borders, all edges gilt. Engraved frontispiece portrait of Mrs. Birch by J. F. Lewis. With four lithographed facsimiles of handwritten letters. Corners slightly rubbed and bumped, spine sunned to lighter purple, a few trivial scratches, some foxing to frontispiece, facsimiles, and endpapers, otherwise internally clean with only a handful of small smudges, the binding very sound and in excellent condition given its age.
This charming memorial in a well-preserved, special binding gives us a glimpse into the English gentry's life in the early to mid-19th century. In letters to her family and acquaintances, Mrs. Birch reports on the trials and travails of her daily life and her failing, though still fair health. While this book was privately publiahed by and for the family, the editor, Mrs. Birch's son, John, acknowledges that it will outlive its original owners: "Certain it is, that every succeeding step in [the book's] descent, removes it further and further from all the recollections and associations which ensured to it the indulgent and partial judgment of its first possessors." While the original publisher's binding is in blue cloth, ours is a special binding, perhaps done for the immediate family members, in full morocco. This item is also quite rare; we could find fewer than 10 copies in libraries worldwide. Though we are far from the first possessors, we can still delight in the day-to-day recollections of a well-loved and much-revered matriarch at the end of her preternaturally long life. (ST14792)
Add to Cart Price: $750.00
PJP Catalog: CA19BF.027