London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1820. First edition. Bound without the half-title. Binding extremities rubbed and calf slightly worn away at corners. Very light foxing. Later ink signature on title page. A good copy of a scarce book. Contemporary straight grained calf, covers decoratively bordered in gilt. Spine also decoratively gilt with raised bands, neatly rebacked with the remaining portion of the original spine laid down. Gilt turn ins. Marbled edges and endpapers. Octavo. . , [v-viii], 134 pp. Item #16156
Caroline Southey (nee Bowles, 1786-1854) first contacted the Poet Laureate Robert Southey, whom she eventually married, for a critical evaluation of her long poem Ellen Fitzarthur, a metrical story about a young woman, deserted by her husband, who seeks out her mother's tomb in remorse. After Robert Southey's recommendation, Ellen Fitzarthur was published in 1820 and was a success. This resulted in the publication of more of Caroline Southey's works, which included The Widow's Tale (1822) and Solitary Hours (1826). She was the author of Tales of the Factories (1833), which protested inhumane working conditions and preceded Caroline Norton's A Voice from the Factories (1833) and Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "The Cry of the Children" (1843). Southey also wrote The Birthday (1836), which was part-memoir, part rueful feminist commentary on the limited opportunities available to women in the nineteenth century.