Springfield, Mass: The King-Richardson Co., 1901. With a frontispiece of Martha Washington and 40 full-page illustrations of some of the notable women described in the work. Also with color borders around most illustrations and accent color backgrounds on front matter. Rubbing to leather and some chipping to head and tail of spine. Green pictorial cloth exemplar, decorated in red and black and titled in gilt, inside front cover. Red cloth exemplar, stamped in black, inside rear cover. Both exemplars are very bright and clean. Top edge gilt and red-speckled fore-edge. Floral endpapers. A very good, very internally clean copy of this rare salesman’s sample. Publisher’s black leather with gilt title. Octavo. 198], [12, subscriber’s leaves] pp. Item #16882
The table of contents notes six chapters showcasing notable women divided by historical moment. The work opens with “Woman Before the Christian Era” and ends with “The Golden Age of Woman’s Achievement: A Century of Unparalleled Progress (1800 - 1900).” That chapter includes interesting entries on contemporary American figures like Emma Willard, Maria Mitchell, Clara Barton, and Helen Hunt Jackson. Also included are international women like Pandita Ramabai Sarasvati (1858 –1922), “educated Hindu defender of child-widows”; and Empress Dowager Cixi, noted here under the variant name Tsze Hsi An (1835 – 1908), “The Famous Empress Dowager of China.” One additional chapter is titled “Contribution of Woman to Modern Civilization” and summarizes the role of women in science, educational reform, law, missionary work, and more.
William C. King (1853 - ?) was the president of the King-Richardson publishing company. About a dozen other contributors are credited in the work as well. They include several women, like President of the Women’s International Council May Wright Sewall, Vice President of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union Anna A. Gordon, and renowned Shakespearian actor Helen Modjeska.