Item #126148 The History of Emily Montague. In Four Volumes. By the author of Lady Julia Mandeville. Frances Brooke.
The History of Emily Montague. In Four Volumes. By the author of Lady Julia Mandeville.
The History of Emily Montague. In Four Volumes. By the author of Lady Julia Mandeville.
The History of Emily Montague. In Four Volumes. By the author of Lady Julia Mandeville.

The History of Emily Montague. In Four Volumes. By the author of Lady Julia Mandeville.

1769. London: Printed for J. Dodsley, in Pall Mall, 1769.

4 vols. 12mo, (viii), 240; (4), 240; (4), 223; (4), 213, (2) pp. Complete with half titles and errata. Full contemporary calf with gilt rules, backstrips with red leather labels. Early ownership inscription of Sarah Digby and later Canadian bookplate of C. Gordonsmith each vol. A nice unsophisticated set, backstrips and joints worn with a few cracks, headcaps chipped, corners bumped, boards with some scuffs and stains, occasional foxing, but sound overall.

§ First edition of the first novel written in North America, the first novel written in Canada, and the first novel with a Canadian setting.

Frances Brooke (1724-1789) was a novelist, essayist, theater critic, poet, and translator with strong views of the value of women's education and the rights of women to participate in public affairs. Emily Montague, her second novel, was written during her stay in Quebec between 1763 and 1768 in the company of her husband, a chaplain in the British army. Epistolary and sentimental according to the fashions of the day, it describes in detail both the magnificent landscapes and daily life in the Canadian province, with attention to the interactions between the English, French, Huron, and Iroquois cultures.

The novel was successful on publication in London, running to several editions as well as translations into French, German, Dutch, and Swedish. During the 19th century it was all but forgotten before being rediscovered and reclaimed as an important part of Canadian literature. "Mrs Brooke probably deserves a more general encomium, for in her life and in her works she went where few women, especially of her class and education, had gone. She attempted successfully the periodical, the novel, the tragedy, and the comic opera, as well as poetry. In the development of the novel in particular, she was 'an essential link between Richardson on the one hand and Fanny Burney and Jane Austen on the other', and she was 'an interpreter to English fiction of the French novel of sentiment practised by Madame Riccoboni and Rousseau' (Brooke, Lady Julia Mandeville, 37). She also set the novel on new paths both in its delineation of North America and in its depiction of the lives of women." (Dictionary of National Biography)

Sabin 8240. Item #126148

Price: $3,500.00

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