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VICTORIA, Princess Royal - MASSIE, Richard.

Martin Luther's Spiritual Songs.

Translated by R. Massie, Esq., of Eccleston.

London: Hatchard & Son; Chester: Prichard, Roberts, & Co., 1854 Stock Code: 133638
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Presentation copy to the Princess Royal

First edition, this a presentation copy from the author to Victoria, the Princess Royal (1840-1901), Queen Victoria's eldest daughter, inscribed by the author and in an attractive presentation binding.

Massie has inscribed on the first blank: "Her Royal Highness the 'Princess Royal' from the Translator"; with Victoria's attractive bookplate to the front pastedown, inked pressmarks verso of the front free, and ink stamp "Bibliothek der Kronprinzessin" from her period as Crown Princess of Germany 1861-88, verso of title page. Victoria married Prince Frederick William of Prussia, later Kaiser Frederick III, in 1856. Her father, Prince Albert, had himself been baptized into the Lutheran Evangelical Church.

Victoria "was her father's favourite child and not unlike him in her clear mind, faith in logical argument, and intellectual, artistic, and scientific interests. Her father paid great attention to her education and to that of the next child, the future Edward VII: she responded, whereas he rebelled. A French governess, Mme Charlier, gave her fluent French, in addition to the German and English she naturally spoke. Her much loved English governess, Miss Hildyard (a parson's daughter, known as Tilla), gave her wide general reading. She never lost the respect for learning and scholars or the power of concentration which her education gave her. She was taught music, drawing, and watercolour painting, and performed with some skill in all" (ODNB).

The author, Richard Massie (1771-1854) came from a distinguished Cheshire family, was educated at St Johns, Cambridge (BA 1794, MA 1805), and held the rectories of Eccleston, Aldford and St Bridget's, Chester. Martin Luther's Spiritual Songs played an important part in the dissemination of German hymnology in England, a process which could be said to have started with Thomas Carlyle in the 1830s. Massie would, no doubt, have presented his book to the young Princess Royal on publication.

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Octavo (184 x 111 mm). Presentation binding of contemporary red morocco over bevelled boards, spine gilt lettered direct, trefoil leaf motif in each compartment, wavy line roll to raised bands, tail compartment with coronet surmounting an heraldic belt (paper roundel sometime removed), sides with foliate cornerpieces enclosing concentric line and dotted-roll panels, elaborate scalloped foliate panel and central strapwork stamp, gilt tulip edge-roll and turn-ins, marbled endpapers, gilt gauffered edges. Lithographic portrait frontispiece of Luther by Black after Holbein. A little rubbed at the extremities, front and rear blanks a little browned, toning to the text-block, overall very good.


Lithographic portrait frontispiece of Luther by Black after Holbein, printed on india paper.


A little rubbed at the extremities, front and rear blanks a little browned, toning to the text-block, overall very good.


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