Item #17614 The State Prisoner. A Tale of the French Regency. Mary Louisa Boyle.
The State Prisoner. A Tale of the French Regency.
The State Prisoner. A Tale of the French Regency.

The State Prisoner. A Tale of the French Regency.

London: Saunders and Otley, 1837. First edition of the author’s first novel. With the half-titles and the leaf of dedication to the author’s mother (not always present). Some edgewear and rubbing to boards. Contemporary ink ownership signature to top margin of title page in first volume and to verso of half-title in second volume. One gathering in volume one a bit loose. Very clean and fresh throughout. A very good set. Contemporary half calf. Gilt spines. Head of spine of volume one patched with newer leather. Brown morocco label to spine of volume one; lacking from spine of volume two. Two volumes, twelvemo. vi, [2], 302; 304 pp. Item #17614

Mary Louisa Boyle (1810 – 1890) was the author of two novels, the other being The Forester: A Tale of 1688 (1839), and a friend of Charles Dickens, who thought her a skilled amateur actress. Boyle, who appeared in many of Dickens’ theatricals, was described by Charles Lever as “Dickens’s prima donna” (Downey, Charles Lever, II, 83-84). Boyle’s other publications include the drama in verse The Bride of Melchia (1844) and the short story “My Mahogany Friend,” which was edited by Dickens, titled after his suggestion, and published in Household Words in 1851. In the last decade of her life, Boyle became acquainted with Tennyson after her niece married Tennyson’s son, Hallam. Tennyson wrote the poem “To Mary Boyle” (publ. 1899), which reflects on his invitations for Boyle to visit him at his country home while she was mourning the death of a loved one. Boyle’s posthumous memoirs were published by her nephew as Mary Boyle: Her Book in 1901.

The Feminist Companion to Literature in English, “a rather wooden historical novel.”.

Price: $300.00

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