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104963 104963_1
SOUTHEY, Robert.

The Life of Nelson.

Availability: In stock

Published: London for John Murray, 1814

Stock Code: 104963

OR On display in 43 Dover Street


Second edition, a year after the first, this copy inscribed on the title page "To Mrs Holroyd, from one very grateful for the hope of her remembrance. Jane Davy, Nov. 21st 1817", together with a laid-in note in the same hand, reading "In addition to Mrs Holroyd's usual breakfast, the only copy to be obtained after 5 libraries searched so its homeliness must be excused. Thursday morn". A nice bluestocking copy: Jane Davy (née Kerr, 1780-1855) was first unhappily married to Shuckburgh Apreece, the son of a baronet. "After Apreece died his widow made her mark in society, as her distant cousin Walter Scott said, by taking 'the blue line, and by great tact and management actually established herself as a leader of literary fashion' (Journal, 1.107)" (ODNB). Moving to London in 1811 she found herself "hotly pursued" by Humphry Davy: the couple were married soon after and her wealth enabled him to devote himself entirely to research. In 1815 they returned from an eighteen-month tour of the continent and "Jane resumed energetic social life in London, interspersed with tours to various parts of Britain", an itinerary which on present evidence included a visit to fellow hostess Sarah ("Serena") Martha Holroyd (1739-1820) in Bath, who lived at 3 Queen's Parade. The unmarried Holroyd ("Mrs" then commonly applied to elderly ladies of her social standing) was a prolific letter-writer, brother to the first Earl of Sheffield and a close friend of Fanny Burney, herself a resident of Bath for several years.

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2 volumes octavo, (150 x 94 mm). Contemporary tree calf, flat spine gilt in compartments with attractive quatrefoil centrepieces, red morocco label lettered in gilt to second, board edges ruled in gilt, text-block edges sprinkled blue.


Engraved portrait frontispiece to vol. I, frontispiece of vol. II with five facsimile signatures.


Contemporary bookseller's ticket of Barratt's Library, Bond Street, Bath to vol. I front pastedown. Spines sunned, extremities very slightly rubbed, internally crisp and fresh. A handsome set.


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