London: John Long, 1904.. Octavo, pp. [i-vi] vii-viii 9-319 , original red cloth, front and spine panels stamped in gold, publisher's monogram stamped in blind on rear panel, bottom edge untrimmed. First edition. Emilia Blake Gowing (1846-1905) "married an actor whose stage name was Walter Gordon [in 1887], and worked as an actress and elocutionist; she also did recitations. She published verse and recitations from 1874, plays, and fiction. She published three novels of a fantastic tendency in the period: AS CAESAR'S WIFE (1902), BY THAMES AND TIBER (1903), and A KING'S DESIRE (1904). The half-English, half-Italian heroine of BY THAMES AND TIBER gets lost in the Roman catacombs, and dreams, for half the book, of the sacrifice of a martyr ancestress in the days of Nero. A KING'S DESIRE is Saharan and Ruritanian: the monarch of a tiny German state loves an Englishwoman of mysterious parentage." - Kemp, Mitchell and Trotter, Edwardian Fiction, p. 157. Most of Mrs. Gowing's books are quite scarce, especially her novels. Some light stains to cloth on front cover, top edge of text block dusty, some foxing to text block early and late and to page edges, endpapers tanned, a very good copy. (#156890) (Inventory #: 156890)
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