New York: George P. Putnam, 1849. First edition of Lynch's scarce first book. Engraved title, and nine engraved plates, additional vignettes in text. Occasional light foxing, some old pencil on back endpapers, but a remarkably fine, bright copy, in what appears to be a gift binding. Original royal blue cloth with covers and spine elaborately decorated and paneled in gilt, all edges gilt. Octavo. 189 pp. Item #16841
Anne C. Lynch (1815-1891) was a minor but important figure on the New York literary scene from the 1850s through the 1880s. Born in Vermont, she eventually moved to Rhode Island, where she began inviting authors and literary people to her home for evening receptions. It was said that the very best literary society of Providence could be found in the parlor of Miss Lynch" (Memoirs of Anne Lynch Botta). She made the acquaintance of the actress and writer Fanny Kemble, who became very attached to her and introduced her to a wider group of literary friends. In 1845 she began teaching English composition at the Brooklyn Academy for Young Ladies, all the while publishing her writing in such periodicals as the New-York Mirror, The Gift, the Diadem, Home Journal, and the Democratic Review. In New York she continued her literary receptions, which drew such authors as Margaret Fuller, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Julia Ward Howe, Louisa May Alcott, and a young Edgar Allan Poe, who presented early drafts of "The Raven" there. In 1855 she married Vincenzo Botta, a professor of philosophy in Turin. She was also a sculptor of busts, and wrote the Handbook of Universal Literature (1860). She promoted the establishment of Barnard College and founded a prize awarded every five years by the French Academy for the best essay on the condition of women. After her death, her friends produced Memoirs of Anne Lynch Botta (1893). Contributors included Andrew Carnegie, Mary Mapes Dodge, Charles Peabody and abolitionist Dr. H.W. Bellows.
Lynch's Poems contains many references to contemporary literary figures: "Lines on the Death of Mrs. N.P. Willis," "Lines to Frederika Bremer," "Books for the People," "Bryant," etc.