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Feb 17, 2022
London: W.H. Allen & Co., 1890. First edition. 12mo. viii, 238 pp. Extra-illustrated with 77 engraved plates of portraits and views, some hand-colored. Contemporary full turquoise crushed levant, stamped in gilt, spine faded, some light wear to spine ends and front joint; all edges gilt; marbled endpapers; by Bayntun. From the library of Edward Hailstone, and with his large gilt red morocco armorial book-plate on front paste-down.
Laid in is a fragment of an apparently unpublished autograph letter, signed by Mary Shelley (1797-1851), and dated September 23, 1836. In it, she mentions her late father, English journalist and political philosopher, William Godwin (1756-1836), who had died the previous April, as well as her stepmother, Mary Jane Godwin (1768–1841). After her father's death in April 1836, at the age of 80, Mary began assembling his letters for a memoir of him for publication as he had requested in his will, but after two years of work she abandoned the project. This letter was presumably to a publisher: "...the publication being for the benefit of his Widow, who at an advanced age & in bad health, is left totally unprovided. Many of my father's correspondents have kindly placed in my hands letters of his for the purpose of publication. I looked over the volumes of correspondence with the Revd. Dr. (Samuel) Parr, which you have published..." She is possibly referring to The Works of Samuel Parr, published in 1828, which includes a selection from Parr's correspondence.
Edward Hailstone (1818-90) was a British book collector, antiquarian, and the fifth son of the botanist Samuel Hailstone (1767-1851). At the time of his death he had amassed a library of around 40,000 to 50,000 books, and bequeathed part of it to York Minster, forming the Hailstone Yorkshire Library, while the remainder was sold at Sotheby's in 1891.
Provenance for the book:
Edward Hailstone (1818-90)
Baker, Leigh, & Sotheby, April 23-May 1, 1891
American Art Association, The Collection of the late William F. Gable of Altoona, Pennsylvania, November 24, 1924, Lot 831
Parke-Bernet, New York, Library of the Late George A. Zabriskie, October 13 and 14, 1954, Lot 506
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