London: Williams and Norgate, 1880. Second edition. Presentation copy inscribed to Peabody “from his old friend,” with the inscription dated August 1896. The first edition was published by Williams and Northgate in 1874. A bit of toning to spine and some light rubbing to extremities. Two light smudges on lower board. Partially unopened. Some light foxing to the first few leaves and a bit of faint toning to margins. A very good, clean copy inscribed by Cobbe to Philip G. Peabody, Cobbe’s friend and a contributor to her book Vivisection in America. Publisher’s mauve cloth with gilt-titled spine. Dark red rule and gilt fleur-de-lis on upper board. Octavo. 222 pp. Item #16750
The four essays included in The Hopes of the Human Race discuss the afterlife, sin, godly omnipotence, and divine justice and explore the ramifications of those philosophies on the organization of society. Cobbe takes particular issue with the conflation of religious ideals and the law, like legally punishing women for “sins of unchastity” (p. 92-93), and asserts that moral good must exist “outside of conscious or recognized religious influences” (p. 205).
Frances Power Cobbe (1822 – 1904) was a suffragist, a nonfiction writer, and an animal rights advocate who founded both the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection and the National Anti-Vivisection Society. Cobbe was also an acquaintance of Charles Darwin, though she took issue with his theories on the supposed biological inferiority of women and published an article, Darwinism in Morals (1871), to critique his Descent of Man. Cobbes other works include On the Pursuits of Women (1863); Criminals, Idiots, Women and Minors (1869); and numerous articles, books, and lectures opposing vivisection.