17 June 2008
WOLLSTONECRAFT, Mary. Letters written during a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. London: J. Johnson, 1796.
8o (208 x 125 mm). 2-page advertisement leaf at end. Modern half tan calf antique, gilt. Provenance: contemporary signature dated 1798 inked out.
FIRST EDITION. Letters written and sent to Wollstonecraft's lover Gilbert Imlay (1754-1828) with whom she had a daughter Fanny. He returned them for publication at Wollstonecraft's request (a similar request made to the artist Henry Fuseli for letters sent to him was refused). "Although the letters were touched with melancholy personal complaints they were also full of sharply-sketched accounts of the people she met... the social conditions she found and the northern scenery of rocks, waterfalls and forests in its summer incarnation. Some of the phrases were good enough to provide Coleridge with inspiration" (Tomalin, pp. 236-37). With the "Appendix", "Notes," and rare list of works "Published by the Author of These Letters" at end. Claire Tomalin The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft, 1977, pp. 236-37.
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