"WE METT WITH GREAT DIFFICULTY": LIMITED EDITION OF THE JOURNAL OF MADAM KNIGHT, 1920, ONE OF ONLY 525 COPIES PRINTED, WITH A LARGE FOLDING MAP OF KNIGHT'S TRAVELS THROUGH NEW ENGLAND, BEAUTIFULLY BOUND
KNIGHT, Sarah Kemble. The Journal of Madam Knight. Boston: Small, Maynard, 1920. Slim octavo, contemporary full green morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spine and covers, raised bands, morocco doublures, watered silk endpapers, top edge gilt, uncut. $600.
Limited edition of this account of a 1704 journey from Rhode Island to Connecticut, one of only 525 copies printed by Bruce Rogers in 18th-century style at the Printing House of William Edwin Rudge, with large folding frontispiece map of Knight's route through New England, beautifully bound in full morocco-gilt with morocco doublures and watered silk endpapers.
"One of the duties of the colonial post rider was to act as a guide for travelers he might encounter along his route. At the start of the 18th century such travelers were rare, and travel time slow due to the difficulty of the crude and unmarked paths that passed for roads. Nonetheless, a Boston woman named Sarah Kemble Knight made just such a journey in 1704 from Boston to New York over the lower post road. Madam Knight was a 38-year-old married woman and keeper of a boarding house in Boston with some experience as a copier of legal documents. She was on her way to New Haven (and later to New York City) to act on behalf of a friend in the settlement of her deceased husband's estate. Fortunately, Knight kept a journal of her trip, and it provides us with one of the few first-hand-accounts of travel conditions in Connecticut during colonial times" (Richard DeLuca, ConnecticutHistory.org). With introduction by George Parker Winship, a prominent rare books librarian and scholar. Kemble's account was first published in 1825. This limited edition was designed by Bruce Rogers with the intention of recreating the printing style used during Knight's time. Rogers—a prolific designer—considered this one of his best book designs.
Only mild toning to extremities. Very nearly fine condition.