by Spofford, Harriet (Elizabeth) Prescott (1835-1921)
Boston: D. Lothrop Company, 1881. First edition. Hardcover. Very good. Illustrations by Edmund H. Garrett. Boston: D. Lothrop Company, 1887. First edition. Tipped-in on a prefatory blank leaf is a three-page holographic poem ("Pope's Mother at Twickenham") by Spofford, signed by her below the final stanza. This poem first appeared in the August 1891 issue of Wide Awake. A collection of poetic homages to Oliver Goldsmith, Samuel Johnson, John Milton, William Shakespeare, and others by the New England writer best known for her gothic romances, which were set apart by luxuriant descriptions and an unconventional handling of female stereotypes of the era. Her reputation began when the Atlantic Monthly published "In the Cellar" (February 1859), a tale of Parisian life. Published anonymously, her first novel, Sir Rohan's Ghost (1860), in the tradition of Poe, is the story of a man who tries to kill his mistress and is later plagued by her daughter, with whom he falls in love. The many works that followed often featured female leads and attracted the attention of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Rose Terry Cooke, Mary Wilkins Freeman, and William Dean Howells, among others. When asked whether she read Spofford's work, Emily Dickinson responded, "I read Miss Prescott's 'Circumstance,' but it followed me in the dark, so I avoided her." Later, following her marriage to the poet Richard S. Spofford, Jr., she expanded her repertoire to include poetry, essays, and travel writing. Some of her many literary friendships in New England are recalled in A Little Book of Friends (1916). Octavo. Original brown cloth binding, with decorative gilt and green stamping. The spine is darkened just a touch, with some wear to the corners and tips; else very good. BAL 18486.
(Inventory #: 64434)
Literature, Poetry, California and the West, Travel and Exploration, Archives and Ephemera, Heavy Metal
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