London: Printed for A. Millar.... 1766/. First edition. Some rubbing to boards. Ink ownership signature of an Elizabeth Marton to title-page of volume one, as well as an ink notation (probably by Marton) reading “By Miss Scott sister of Mrs. Montague.” Some foxing to leaves. Ink mark to front free endpaper of volume one. Top margin of title-page and first page of volume two cut away, not affecting text. A very good, uncommon set by Sarah Scott, the sister of Elizabeth Montagu. Nineteenth century blue half calf over marbled boards. Spines stamped in blind and ruled in gilt with red morocco labels. Twelvemo. viii, 331; 291 pp. Item #17080
Sarah Scott, née Robinson (1720 – 1795) wrote the present work as a follow-up to A Description of Millennium Hall (1762), a novel about a utopian community run by women that she wrote with Lady Barbara Montagu (no relation). The titular Sir George Ellison eventually finds his way to Millennium Hall, where he becomes involved in social and economic reform, after lengthy journeys that include owning a plantation in Jamaica. Scott was a historian, translator, novelist, and social reformer. Her sister, Elizabeth Montagu, was better known that Scott, but Montagu herself considered Scott to possess the greater intellectual and literary skills out of the two of them (Oxford DNB). Along with her novels, Scott also wrote historical works like The History of Gustavus Ericson, King of Sweden (1760) and The History of Meckleberg, from the First Settlement of the Vandals (1762), and translated Le laideur aimable by Antoine, Marquis de La Place as Agreeable Ugliness (1754). Scott and Lady Barbara were close companions throughout their lives, and together they organized a small school to teach literacy, math, and needlework to poor children.
ESTC 71399. Raven, British Fiction 1750 – 1770, 1038.