1785 A Philosophical Historical and Moral Essay on Old Maids
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Early Edition, Leather Binding
With essays on the 'situation and treatment of old maids in general', 'the ingenuity of old maids', 'old maids in ancient history' and 'christian and other modern old maids'. Illustrated, with a frontispiece to each volume, and one plate to volume III and volume II. With the bookplate of the Benjamin Dickinson of Tiverton to the front pastedown of each volume. With Dickinson's inscription to the front and rear pastedowns of both volumes. A second bookplate, of Eunice G Murray to the recto of front free endpaper to all volumes. Dickinson was a Merchant and was one of the wealthiest in the area. He inherited Oliver Peard's business. Eunice G Murray was a Scottish suffrage campaigner and author. She was the only Scottish woman to stand in the first election open to women in 1918. Hayley writes to the preface that he devotes himself 'with a new species of Quixotism, to the service of Ancient Virginity. It is my intention, in the following work, to redress all the wrongs of the autumnal maiden, and to place her, if possible, in a state of honour, content and comfort.' William Hayley was an English writer, who is best known for creating a biography of the poet William Cowper. Hayley's work provides an eighteenth century perspective of the morals, lifestyle and sexuality of older women. A fascinating essay collection, discussing a commonly ostracised group of people, particularly at the time of writing.
In uniform full tree calf bindings. Externally, generally smart with light rubbing to the joints and to the extremities. Light cracks to the head and tail of front joints. Patches of light rubbing to the spines. Bookplates to the front pastedowns and to the recto of front endpapers. Prior owner's inscription to the pastedowns, Benjamin Dickinson. Internally, all volumes are firmly bound. Pages are bright with just the odd spot.
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