The Illuminated Book of Needlework: Comprising Knitting, Netting, Crochet, and Embroidery. By Mrs. Henry Owen of Upper Baker Street. Preceded by a History of Needlework, Including an Account of the Ancient Historical Tapestries [by Mrs. Elizabeth Stone]. Edited by the Countess of Wilton [Mary Margaret Stanley Egerton, Countess of Wilton].

London: Henry G. Bohn, 1847. First Bohn edition, preceded by the 1844 Henry Colburn edition, which also incorporates both works, which OCLC locates in only one copy, at the Royal Ontario Museum. Illuminated title-page in addition to the printed title, sixteen color-printed patterns on eleven plates. Black and white illustrations in text. Dedication to Queen Victoria. Binding extremities lightly worn, pages lightly toned around the edges. Overall a very good, bright copy. Publisher's red cloth with covers decoratively stamped in blind and spine in gilt, rebacked with old spine laid down, all edges gilt. Two parts in one, twelvemo. ix, [1], 405, [1], xii, 114 pp. Item #16434

Very little information is available about Mrs. Henry Owen, not even her first name or dates. Elizabeth Stone (1803-1881) was a novelist and historian, raised in Manchester. In The Art of Needlework, first published in 1840, she calls for the recognition of women's creative contribution to culture. "Stone lamented the ‘ungallant silence of the historian’, and praised the needle as an instrument of civilization, superior to the destructive sword (pp. v–vi). The book was reviewed in The Athenaeum in August 1840, where it was described as ‘a pleasant collection of antiquarian reading’. Both the Athenaeum reviewer, who saw The Art of Needlework as a ‘'conservative' production, intended to seduce the sex from revolutionary reading and writing, and to subdue their natures to a servile drudgery’, and subsequent modern commentators have underestimated the vehemence with which Stone attacked the dominant male view of history in her study of a women's art form" (Oxford DNB).

Price: $450.00

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