"WORD WAS GIVEN ME TO SAY, WHICH DID STRENGTHEN THE HEARTS OF THOSE WHO FOUGHT IN THE FIELD AND OF THOSE WHO LANGUISHED IN PRISON": FIRST EDITION OF JULIA WARD HOWE'S REMINISCENCES 1819-1899
HOWE, Julia Ward. Reminiscences 1819-1899. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin, 1899. Octavo, original gilt-stamped burgundy cloth, top edge gilt. $450.
First edition of this popular autobiography by the author of "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and one of the 19th century's most devoted anti-slavery, pro-women's suffrage activists.
"From memory and diary combined, Mrs Howe makes one of the most engaging of books. Its narratives and portraitures are from a range of 80 years of intercourse with a wide circle of notable persons at home and abroad" and includes the story behind Howe's authorship of "Battle Hymn of the Republic" (contemporary review, Methodist Review). "Although her best-known contribution to American history was providing the lyrics for the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” a song that contended for the national anthem until 1931, Julia Ward Howe’s most substantial contribution lay in women’s rights. When she died in Oak Glen, Massachusetts, at the age of ninety-one, she was the acting president and guiding light of the New England Woman Suffrage Association. She founded and presided over numerous organizations dedicated to improving opportunities for women in education, politics, and the professions. She single-handedly laid foundations for woman’s rights groups while asserting her own right to participate in public life against formidable opposition, both at home and in the broader community" (ANB).
Interior fine, rear inner paper hinge partially repaired, minor rubbing and toning to spine. A near-fine copy.