A Book of Sybils: Mrs Barbauld, Miss Edgeworth, Mrs Opie, Miss Austen.
William Makepeace Thackeray's daughter Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie was an accomplished author herself whose late Victorian novels were quite popular in her time. In this book she explores the lives of four women writers from earlier in the 19th century. She begins with an introduction where the mention of Maple Grove and Selina leads to the realization that the people gathered at the table know even Jane Austen's minor characters in depth. She ends the book with her tribute to Austen that is touching and sincere, examining how real Austen's characters seem to readers 75 years later. Her discussion of Austen's life and writings is augmented by information from James Edward Austen Leigh's recently published biography. Dedicated to Mrs Oliphant. First edition, printed by Spottiswoode & Co. Brown cloth with embossed black and gilt decorations, beveled cover. Inner joints lightly split but still together and tight. Some light foxing on end pages and adverts in the back. Very clean copy. Smith, Elder, & Co., 15 Waterloo Place. London. 1883. USED. $65.00