Item #1099 The Ladies Library. Written by a Lady. Published by Mr. Steele. Mary Harrison Wray, attributed.
The Ladies Library. Written by a Lady. Published by Mr. Steele.
Books of Knowledge for the Eyes of Women Everything A Wife, Daughter, Mother, Widow and Mistress should know

The Ladies Library. Written by a Lady. Published by Mr. Steele.

London: Printed for Jacob Tonson, 1714. Item #1099

Three volumes.  12mo.  170 x 100 mm., [6 ¾ x 4 inches].  [18], ,544, [16] pp; [12], 436, [16] pp; 18], 536, [20] pp.  Illustrated with three engraved frontispieces on each volume, signed: Lud. Du Guernier inv. et Sculp., and initial letters, head- and tail-pieces.  Bound in contemporary calf, red title-labels, raised bands; some rubbing to spine and edges, heads and tails of spine bumped, joints with minor cracks other sound and attractive.  Text block showing some tone of paper stock, but strong and flexible; engraving in volume II has been backed with a new endpaper.  Text includes index in each volume.

First edition, published by the author of the Spectator, for the benefit of the women of England.  In his introduction Steele writes, “I cold not but conclude that a due regard being had to different Circumstances of Life, it is a great Injustice to shut Books of Knowledge from the Eyes of Women.”  With chapters on women’s employment, wit, recreation, dress chastity, modesty, meekness, charity, envy, censure and reproof, ignorance, and pride.  There are also vivid descriptions of wives, daughters, mothers, widows and mistresses and their station in society and expected comportment.  Finally on a religious note, there are chapters on prayer, fasting, sacraments, zeal, perfection and scruples.

Originally attributed to Mary Harrison Wray, granddaughter of Jeremy Taylor, but compiled from the writings of Jeremy Taylor, William Fleetwood and others  The editorship of the compilation is attributed to George Berkeley by the English Short Title Catalogue and Oxford Dictionary of National Biography  

English Short Title Catalogue T 80462.  See Notes and Queries, series 1, volume 12, 1855 (Jul-Dec), page 12; G.A. Aitken, The life of Richard Steele, 1889, volume 2, page 39-41.


Price: $950.00

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