London: William Heeinemann, 1898. First U.K. edition. Though the author was British, this book was first published in America by Appleton in 1897. Edges lightly foxed, light shelfwear. Former owner's signature, dated March 15th 1908. A very good, bright copy. In a publisher's variant binding of dark blue cloth with gilt spine. Octavo. , 527, , [6, ads], [16, publisher's catalog, dated 1897] pp. Item #15655
Sarah Grand (Frances Elizabeth Bellenden Clarke, later McFall, 1854-1943) was a feminist writer whose work revolved around the New Woman ideal. She wrote over a dozen works between 1888 and 1922, mostly fiction, but including several treatises on the woman's plight. A frequent topic in her work is the failure of marriage, and its tendency to put women in a subservient role and keep her ignorant. Born in Ireland of English parents, she had only a sporadic education. The Beth Book is a fictionalized account of her early experience of life with an alcoholic father, then marriage to a doctor who serviced an institution for the incarceration of prostitutes with venereal disease. She served as Vice President of the Woman's Suffrage Society and, after moving to Tunbridge Wells in 1898, President of the local branch of the National Council of women. (See The Frminist Companion to Literature).