Boston: Irving P. Fox, 1898. First edition. The Tragedy of a Widow’s Third critiques unequal inheritance laws that left women, like the protagonist of the novel, impoverished after the deaths of their loved ones. The “widow’s third” of the title refers to the portion of a couple’s wealth left to a widow after a husband’s death in the state of Massachusetts. The wealth accrued by a married woman was also often legally counted as her husband’s, which could result in her own property being stripped from her after his death. Other parts of the United States (mostly states and territories in the west including Arizona, California, and Colorado) guaranteed a widow half of the couple’s wealth, but it wasn’t until 1902 that an equal guardianship bill passed in Massachusetts. The bill was introduced by George Howard Fall, the husband of Anna Christy Fall (1855 – 1930). With three plates (including frontispiece) by Vesper L. George. Some wear and fading to cloth. Contemporary ink gift signature to front pastedown. Some toning to edges. A very good, clean copy. Publisher’s red cloth with printed paper spine label. Twelvemo. 117 pp. Item #17597
Anna Christy Fall was a lawyer, suffragist, the first woman to plead a jury case in Massachusetts, and the first woman to argue a case before the Massachusetts Supreme Court. She graduated magna cum laude with her Juris Doctor degree from the Boston University School of Law in 1891. Fall and her husband had a law practice and worked together to improve women’s legal rights. Their daughter, Emma Latimer Fall Schofield, became the first woman judge in New England.
Vesper Lincoln George (1865 – 1934) was a painter, muralist, and educator who founded the Vesper Lincoln George School of Art in Boston in 1914. Some of his best known murals are located at the Pollard Memorial Library in Lowell, Massachusetts and the Bristol Trust Company in Bristol, Connecticut.
Wright III, 1791.