Tales of the Castle.
Or Stories of Instruction and Delight. Translated into English by Thomas Holcroft.London: Printed for G. Robinson, R. Phillips, Wilkie and Robinson, Scatcherd and Letterman, and J. Walker, 1806 Stock Code: 138487
Eighth Edition, in a handsome period binding with the gift inscription on the front free endpaper of volume 1: "Cecilia Charlotte Leeson, The Gift of Her fond mamma on her birthday the 3rd of March 1808". Cecelia Charlotte Leeson (1801-1818) was the daughter of the Irish peer Joseph Leeson, 2nd Earl of Milltown (1730-1801), and stepdaughter to Valentine Second Lord Cloncurry (17731853).
Stéphanie Félicité, better known as Madame de Genlis, was a French author whose innovative children's works and morality plays enjoyed great popularity in Britain. Modelled after the style of Samuel Richardson, her novels wove practical and theoretical discourse on education and social conduct with romantic courtship plots and thematic structures which inspired several female writers of the period, including Jane Austen. Madame de Genlis' writing was often considered audacious for a time which valued delicacy and purity, and even prompted Austen to remark on Alphonsine, "it did not do. We were disgusted in twenty pages, as, independent of a bad translation, it has indelicacies which disgrace a pen hitherto so pure (Fergus, Wood)." Nevertheless, Austen continued to read her work and even paid tribute to Madame de Genlis in Emma (1815). Emma, the titular heroine of the novel, compliments her governess by telling her that she will make a fine parent and educator, "like La Baronne d'Almane on La Countesse d'Ostalis in Madame de Genlis' Adelaide and Theodore (Austen)". Tales of the Castle was written as a spin-off of Adèle et Théodore.
5 volumes, octavo (179 x 99 mm). Contemporary full tree calf, twin red and black morocco labels, gilt letters to spines, cream endpapers.
Frontispieces to each volume.
Contemporary ownership signature to front free endpaper of each volume. Tips bumped and worn, rubbing to extremities, otherwise a very good set.
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