Life of Percy Bysshe Shelley.London: Walter Scott, 1887 Stock Code: 146191
First edition, presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper in the year of publication: "To Mathilde Blind. With the admiration & affection of her friend, William Sharp. Oct 27, '87".
Mathilde Blind (1841-1896) was a German-born English poet who lectured on Shelley and edited A Selection from the Poems of Percy Bysshe Shelley (1872). Her feminist response to Darwinian evolutionary theory, The Ascent of Man (1889), greatly enhanced her contemporary reputation. She was also a prominent voice in the New Woman movement, a feminist ideal of the late 19th century, including figures such as Vernon Lee, Amy Levy, and Olive Schreiner.
William Sharp (1855-1905) and Mathilde were friends and prolific editors and biographers of the leading writers of their day. A women's rights activist, Sharp wrote under the pseudonym Fiona Macleod from 1893, but his erstwhile friend and critic William Butler Yeats likely sensed Fiona's true identity. "The production of the female persona of Fiona seems to have caused Sharp frequent ill health, culminating in a near total breakdown in 18978; moreover, he had a feeling of being haunted by past lives" (ODNB).
Octavo. Original blue cloth, spine lettered in gilt, top edge gilt, other edges uncut.
Bookplate of R. G. E. Sandbach to front pastedown. Spine slightly cocked and rubbed, minor rubbing to covers, couple of small marks to front cover, faint foxing to endpapers and a couple of margins, else bright. A very good copy.
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