WILLIAMS, Helen Maria.

Letters on the events which have passed in France since the Restoration in 1815.

London: printed for Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, 1819 Stock Code: 130544
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The celebrated bluestocking's evaluation of the Bourbon Restoration, in the original boards

First edition of the celebrated bluestocking's evaluation of the Bourbon Restoration, her last completed book on current French conditions. Williams (1759-1827) was both much admired and much maligned by her contemporaries: her works were favoured by Wordsworth and her literary salon in Paris was attended by the likes of Thomas Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Francisco de Miranda, yet she was branded by Edmund Burke, alongside Wollstonecraft, as one of the "clan of desperate, wicked, and mischievously ingenious women" who were publishing radicalising, pro-revolutionary works at the turn of the century (letter to Mrs Crewe, 1795, quoted in Craciun & Lokke, p. 326). The present work, "though it may not have been a best-seller was important enough to warrant translation into French" (Kennedy, p. 195) after Henry Crabb Robinson had helped its author to find a British publisher. Its publication "when she was nearly 60 years old indicates Williams's commitment to making what contribution she could to the support of social and political change. Perhaps in 1790 she may have envisioned herself enjoying her old age in leisure rather than continuing to fight for the liberty the French Revolution had promised. But 1819 was a period still 'crowded with events' that required her vigilant observation (Restoration, 3). It was not to be expected that a woman so involved with the politics of the Revolution would retire from the public scene when political matters were once again the main topic of conversation" (ibid., p. 196).

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Octavo (225 x 138 mm). Original drab paper-covered blue boards, printed spine label.


Early ownership signature to rear pastedown ("Jo. Da."). Extremities worn and some loss to spine ends, joints and hinges cracked but firm, with a little evidence of glue repair, endpapers and terminal gatherings faintly foxed; a good only copy, the contents crisp and clean.


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