The Christmas Box.
An Annual Present for Young Persons.London : 1829 Stock Code: 129756
NotesFirst edition, inscribed by Maria Edgeworth, who contributed a story, on page i, "With Miss Edgeworth's Compliments". The Christmas Box is a collection of short stories to which Edgeworth contributed "Garry Owen; or The Snow-Woman" (pp. 33-88). This copy has a nice association, with the ownership inscription "Geraldine Fortescue - This book was given to my mother, Mrs. Pare, when a young girl by Miss Edgeworth", on the front pastedown: the original recipient, Mrs. Pare, was Geraldine FitzGerald-de Ros Pare (1809-1881), the daughter of Lord Henry FitzGerald. Lord Fitzgerald served in the Irish House of Commons, alongside Maria Edgeworth's father, Richard Edgeworth. Geraldine was also the niece of the notorious Lord Edward Fitzgerald, upon whom many believe Edgeworth based the coincidentally named character of Lady Geraldine Fitzgerald in her novel Ennui (1809). In 1857 Geraldine married Reverend Frederick Pare, with whom she had her daughter, the inscribee of this copy, Geraldine Fortescue (d. 1883). The Christmas Box was edited by the Irish antiquary Thomas Crofton Croker, author of Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland (1825-8). In the Monthly Review of September to December of 1928 it was noted that, "The Christmas Box for 1829, edited by Mr. Crofton Croker, will exhibit, it is said, a rich display of female talent", and indeed thirteen of the nineteen contributors to the work were women (p. 140).
Octavo (154 x 95 mm). Contemporary purple half calf, titles to red morocco label to spine, floral pattern tooled in blind in compartments, raised bands tooled in gilt, marbled paper sides, floral roll in blind to borders of leather, edges speckled red.
Engraved title page and vignettes in text, engraved under the superintendence of W. H. Brooke.
Wear to spine ends and tips, slight rubbing to spine, offsetting to endpapers, loss to bottom outer corner of pp. 237-40 and rear free endpaper, occasional light foxing to contents, closed tear to fore edge of p. 91-2; a very good copy.
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