London: J. Harris, [ 1825 ]/. First edition, ancient history “compiled from authentic sources; and intended for the Use of Young Persons” (title-page). A list of “authorities” that the author consulted is included, among them Encyclopedia Britannica, Forsyth’s Tour Through Italy, Melmoth’s Translation of Pliny’s Letters, and Swinburne’s Travels in the Two Sicilies. Six engraved plates, including frontispiece, of ancient landscapes and ruins; title-page vignette. Binding extremities lightly worn, corners a bit rubbed, minor soiling to cloth, spine slightly toned. Light offsetting from frontispiece. A very good copy, scarce in this condition. Original quarter red road over illustrated boards. Twelvemo. , ix, [1, blank], 143, [1, blank], [4, publisher’s ads] pp. Item #16556
Lucy Sarah Atkins Wilson (1801-1863) was born into a Quaker family. Early on in her career, she showed a talent for redacting works of history, travel, and science into works for children. Examples of this include The India Cabinet Opened: in Which Many Natural Curiosities Are Rendered a Source of Amusements to Young Minds (1821), Botanical Rambles (1824), and Real Stories […] from the Narratives of Various Travellers (1827) (University of Wolverhampton’s site for Wilson, http://www4.wlv.ac.uk/btw/authors/1005). In the Preface, Wilson writes, “Although the editor of the following pages has assumed the character of a traveller, and writes as if she had actually visited the scenes she attempts to describe, it will be evident a the first glance that the volume is merely a compilation from various authors, and that this style has been adopted as the most agreeable mode of conveying information to the young reader, for whose use it is more immediately designed” (p. v).