Item #17613 The Private History of the Court of England. In two volumes. Sarah Green.
The Private History of the Court of England. In two volumes.
The Private History of the Court of England. In two volumes.

The Private History of the Court of England. In two volumes.

London: Printed for the Author, and sold by B. Crosby & Co... 1808. First edition of a controversial novel that disguises its satire of Regency society (including the love life of the Prince of Wales) within the historical setting of the fifteenth century. The characters are thinly veiled versions of their real-life counterparts: The Feminist Companion to Literature in English notes the presence in the novel of Mary Robinson (1757 – 1800), in particular, who “appears talented, sincere, and oppressed: her husband says ‘if I chuse to SELL you I can, and will.’”. Slight edgewear. Blue speckled edges. Some toning to endpapers. Small ink ownership signature to top margin of front flyleaf. A bright copy, very clean and fresh throughout. Near fine. Near contemporary, probably Continental, half calf over marbled boards. Gilt spine. Two volumes in one, twelvemo. xxiv, 287; xi, 252 pp. Item #17613

Sarah Green (fl. 1790 – 1825) wrote seventeen novels, many of them historical and most of them controversial. As Paul Baines writes in the Oxford DNB, the present work was “a characteristic mix of history and invention…loftily dismissed by the Monthly Review as a ‘clumsy fiction’ of scurrilous intent because of its recasting of the prince of Wales’s amours into a fifteenth-century setting (58, January–April 1809, 101).” The present work was also criticized by the Critical Review, which stated that it was “a sign of great depravity of manners when such books as that before us are encouraged and multiply,” and that “this is one of the few instances in which we are almost induced to form a wish for new restrictions on the liberty of the press.” Green also drew criticism for satirizing Methodism in The Reformist!!! (1810) and, in general, for the scandalous nature of her writing. Green’s nonfiction included the treatise Mental Improvement for a Young Lady (1793), which was published by the Minerva Press; and A Letter to the Publisher of Brothers’s Prophecies (1795), in which she defended the sanity of self-proclaimed prophet Richard Brothers (1757 – 1824).

Garside et al. English Novel, 1808:49.. Summers. Gothic Bibliography, p. 468: “this book was very sharply censured as a scandal novel.”.

Price: $650.00

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