Item #17609 A Mirror for the Female Sex. Historical Beauties for Young Ladies...Designed Principally for the Use of Ladies’ Schools. Pilkington, Mary.
A Mirror for the Female Sex. Historical Beauties for Young Ladies...Designed Principally for the Use of Ladies’ Schools.
A Mirror for the Female Sex. Historical Beauties for Young Ladies...Designed Principally for the Use of Ladies’ Schools.

A Mirror for the Female Sex. Historical Beauties for Young Ladies...Designed Principally for the Use of Ladies’ Schools.

London: Printed for Vernor and Hood... 1798. First edition. A Mirror for the Female Sex is an educational work for young women that advocates for the importance of thorough education, sisterly love, friendship, and religious piety. The “historical beauties” noted in the present work include many learned women like the translator and scholar Margaret Roper (1505 – 1544), daughter of Sir Thomas More; and the Dutch painter, women’s educational writer, and poet Anna Maria van Shurman (1607 – 1678). With a frontispiece and woodcut head- and tailpieces sometimes attributed to Thomas Bewick. Ink gift signature (dated 1822) to preliminary blank. Some toning and foxing. A very good copy of the uncommon first edition. Rebound in modern light brown cloth with black leather spine label. Twelvemo. xxiv, 226, [2, ads] pp. Item #17609

Mary Susanna Pilkington (née Hopkins, 1761 – 1839) was a poet, author, and educational writer. After three of her moralistic works were published by Elizabeth Newbery in 1797, she pivoted to writing educational works for women’s schools and published the present work, Biography for Girls (1798), and Mentorial Tales (1802). In the Oxford DNB, S.J. Skedd writes that Pilkington “echoed both Hannah More and Mary Wollstonecraft in arguing that girls should be given an intellectual education and in asserting that ‘the female mind is certainly as capable of acquiring knowledge as that of the other sex,’ (A Mirror for the Female Sex, p. 61).”.

Note that Hugo attributes the engravings in the present work to Bewick (The Bewick Collector, 123), but Tattersfield does not include the present work in his 2011 Bewick bibliography. Roscoe. John Newbery, J284.

Price: $375.00

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