DACRE, Charlotte ('Rosa Matilda'; Mrs. Byrne, 1782-c.1841). Zofloya or the Moor. A Romance of the Fifteenth Century. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, 1806.
3 volumes. 12° (164 x 100mm). Contemporary brown half calf and marbled boards, spines gilt (marbled paper worn at edges, vol. III lacking front free endpaper), morocco-backed slipcase. Provenance: JFF (bookstamp).
A RARE FIRST EDITION OF A FAVOURITE WORK OF SHELLEY'S. Thomas Medwin, Shelley's fellow pupil at Syon House, recorded that 'dissatisfied with the school library, we resorted to a low circulating one in the town (Brentford).' Although Richardson, Fielding and Smollet 'formed the staple of the collection ... these were little to Shelley's taste, for they exhibited life pretty much as it is, and poets of all ages have despised the real. Ann Radclyffe's works pleased him most, particularly The Italian, but the Rosa-Matilda school, especially a strange, wild romance, entitled Zofloya, or the Moor, a Monk-Lewis production, where his Satanic Majesty, as in Faust, plays the chief part, enraptured him. The two novels he afterwards wrote, entitled Zastrozzi and The Rosicrucian, were modelled after this ghastly production' (The Life of Percy Bysshe Shelley, ed. H. Buxton Forman, 1913, p. 25). Each volume was printed by a different firm. Summers, Gothic Bibliography, p.34; Block, The English Novel, p.51. (3)