London: John Murray, 1862. First edition. Half-inch tear along back joint, contemporary ownership signature, remains of glue from an old bookplate. A few light pencil marks in margins. Overall a very good, bright copy. Original terra cotta cloth with covers blocked in blind and spine blocked and lettered in gilt. Octavo. , iv, [2, contents with verso blank], 293, [1, blank], [1, colophon], [1, blank], 12 [advertisements, dated November, 1861] pp. Item #7321
The brilliant daughter of Thomas Lewin, an Indian civil servant, and a Miss Chaloner, Harriet Lewin [1792-1878] fell in love with the son of a neighbour near Bexley in Kent, George Grote [1794-1871], under whose careful tuition she prepared to share in his historical and political interests and whom she married in 1820. Harriet Grote devoted her considerable intellectual and practical talents to furthering her husband’s political career as a Radical Member of Parliament and later became closely involved in the preparation of his celebrated History of Greece (1845-56). Her vivacity and attested conversational skills made their home a natural centre for the parliamentary Radicals and for George Grote’s later literary and administrative activities…Her friend and biographer Elizabeth Eastlake once pronounced her ‘the cleverest woman in London’ [and] in 1862 she published her Collected Papers in Prose and Verse, mainly essays on literary, political, and economic subjects, many of them in accordance with the old Radical views” (Joanne Shattock, The Oxford Guide to British Women Writers, p. 195f).