“A REMARKABLE PERFORMANCE… WRITTEN WITH REAL POWER”
MARTINEAU, Harriet. The History of England during the Thirty Years' Peace. Two volumes. WITH: Introduction to the History of the Peace. London: Charles Knight, 1849-51. Together, three volumes. Octavo, early 20th-century three-quarter brown morocco, raised bands, marbled boards and endpapers. $1200.
First edition, illustrated with 16 stipple-engraved portraits, handsomely bound.
In 1848, publisher Knight persuaded the prolific Martineau—"no idler in the Republic of Letters" (Allibone, 1232)—"to undertake a History of the Peace, which he had begun but thrown aside. Her mother died in August 1848… after an illness which caused her daughter much anxiety. She began her history, however, in August, after previous preparation, finished the first volume by February 1, and wrote the second in another six months… It is a remarkable performance, especially considering the time occupied, and written with real power" (DNB). The portraits depict such important people as Wellington, Wilberforce, Earl Grey and Queen Victoria. No maps, as sometimes present. Allibone, 1233. Armorial bookplates of the Towne family: that of William E. Towne—younger brother of John Henry Towne, railroad magnate and major benefactor of the University of Pennsylvania—on the front pastedown; that of John Henry Towne—the first John Henry's grandson—and his wife Eleonora Swenson Towne on the rear.
A handsome set, very nearly fine.