3 vols., 12mo. in sixes; a very good copy apart from a little spotting and a tear to the blank margin of K3 in volume I; contemporary half calf and marbled boards, morocco labels; armorial bookplate of Sir Henry Hay Makdougall of Makerstoun.
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Munster Abbey, a Romance; interspersed with Reflections on Virtue and Morality … in three Volumes … Edinburgh: Printed by John Moir … for W. Creech, Cross, and S. Cheyne … [and] for Hookham & Carpentar … Vernor & Hood … London.
First edition. Despite its ‘gothic’ title this is a novel of contemporary high life in England and on the Grand Tour, avoiding ‘extravagant descriptions of supernatural scenes and events’. Munster Abbey in Devon is the seat of the hero, Mr. Belford, a bachelor ‘happily possessed of a fortune, ample as his wishes’. This was Leigh’s only novel – he died at 26 – assembled by his widow from her husband’s ‘scattered papers’ and, the ‘Advertisement’ implies, possibly finished by her.
Leigh was a distant relation of Jane Austen, and though there are only Austins and no Austens among the 1183 subscribers (the list extends to 34 pages), we can find there Egerton Brydges, brother of Austen’s friend Anne (later Lefroy), the Dowager Duchess of Chandos, and several other members of the Leigh family. There are many Scottish subscribers.
Despite the ‘liberal and unexampled countenance bestowed on this undertaking’ it did not meet with universal approval. ‘The fable … is uninteresting, the language incorrect and inelegant; and by endeavouring to put sentiment into the mouths of his characters on the most trifling occasions, the author often renders his work ridiculous’ (Critical Review).
Garside, Raven, and Schöwerling 1797: 53.
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Le Professeur par Currer Bell … Roman anglais traduit avec l’autorisation de l’éditeur par Mme Henriette Loreau … Paris, Librairie de L. Hachette et Cie … 1858. [With:]
BRONTË, Charlotte and Anne. Shirley et Agnès Grey par Currer Bell. Romans anglais traduits par Mm. Ch. Romey et A. Rolet. Tome premier [–second] … Paris, Librairie de L. Hachette et Cie … 1859.
First editions in French of The Professor (1857) and Shirley (1849) by Charlotte Brontë and Agnes Grey (1847) by Anne Brontë (pp. 193-367 in Volume II), also attributed here to Charlotte. Loreau also produced translations of Dickens and Mayne Reid for Hachette.
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The Village of Mariendorpt. A Tale … in four Volumes …
First edition of a rather melodramatic novel set in Bavaria towards the end of the Thirty Years War. It proved just what Longman was looking for, and a sequel, Roche-Blanche, followed in 1822.