London: John W. Parker and Son, 1860. Spines a bit cocked and darkened, binding extremities lightly rubbed, top edge of the last text leaf of Volume II closely cropped, later endpapers, a little light foxing. Overall a good, clean copy, scarce in original cloth. Original reddish-brown blindstamped cloth, gilt spine. Two volumes, small octavo. , 456, 8 (ads); , 413, , [1, ads] pp. Item #12335
First edition of one of one of Charlotte Yonge’s (1823-1901) more important novels. The heroine, Honora Charlecote, confronts the strain and the benefits of being a self-reliant woman. This novel is one of a series, beginning with The Heir of Reclyffe (1853), and proceeding through Heartsease (1854), The Daisy Chain (1856), Dynevor Terrace (1857), and The Young Stepmother (1861), which deal with complex women and men in difficult personal and social situations, in a realistic setting. Though Yonge’s beliefs in devotion to duty and sacrifice of personal interests to family have alienated modern readers, these novels are important for their rounded views of women, and their insistence on the importance of the education and intellectual nurture of women.