London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, and Roberts, 1959. First edition. Frontisportrait. Pastedowns imprinted with ads. Binding extremities very lightly rubbed, spines slightly toned. Very minor foxing to a handful of leaves in both volumes, light creasing to margins, small binder’s ticket on lower rear pastedown of first volume. A fine set. Original brick red cloth, stamped and ruled in blind, gilt lettered spine, brown coated endpapers. Two volumes, octavo. ix, [1, blank], 345, [1, colophon]; ix, [1,blank], 275, [1, colophon] pp. Item #16637
Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck (1778-1856) was the daughter of the Birmingham Quaker and gunmaker, Samuel Galton, a member of the Lunar Society, at whose house such intellectuals as Joseph Priestley, Samuel Parr, Richard Lovell Edgeworth, and Erasmus Darwin were frequent visitors. In 1805, she wrote a pamphlet on the education of the poor, against her mother’s advice. A year later, she married a Bristol shipping merchant of Dutch descent, and became active in local charities and educational projects. Her interest in the Port Royal group, which flourished in France at the end of the seventeenth century, was prompted by some books sent to her by Hannah More. Her other works include the artistic treatise The Theory and Classification of Beauty and Deformity (1815). Between 1854-1856, Schimmelpenninck’s niece Christiana C. Hankin took down from dictation the former’s autobiography; the memoir portion of the work, which occupies the second volume, was compiled with the utmost pains in order to “procure the materials with a view to continue the detail from the period when the autobiography of her early years concludes” (p. vi). Schimmelpenninck’s personal correspondence was used as a source and provides the reader with both her character and her views on a variety of topics.