Personal Recollections. By Charlotte Elizabeth.
[ Tonna ], Charlotte Elizabeth.

London: published by R. B. Seeley and W. Burnside, and sold by L. and G. Seeley, 1841. First edition. With added engraved title-page. Binding extremities rubbed, engraved title foxed, printed title slightly foxed. Old ink signature on printed title. A very good copy. Half black calf over marbled boards, gilt spine with burgundy morocco label, edges sprinkled brown. Twelvemo. [viii], 367, [1] pp. (Item ID: 15392)

$1,250.00

Charlotte Tonna (1796-1846) was a writer and social reformer and friend of Hannah More. She married an army officer, George Phelan, and accompanied him to his estate in Ireland. She then began publishing religious tracts for the Dublin Tract Society, using the name Charlotte Elizabeth. In 1843 she wrote a novel called Judah’s Lion, in which she argued that the Jews could fulfill their religion only by recognizing Jesus Christ, but she also recognized them as recipients of God's covenant. She later campaigned against anti-Semitism, presenting a petition to Tsar Nicholas I on behalf of his ‘oppressed and burdened Jewish subjects’ in 1844. On Phelan’s death she married Lewis Hippolytus Joseph Tonna, a religious writer twenty years her junior, who encouraged her writing. In the 1840s, she became convinced that industrialism threatened the physical and spiritual welfare of the poor, and she attacked the factory system in Helen Fleetwood (serialized 1839–40), The Wrongs of Woman (1843–4), and the anonymous, non-fictional Perils of the Nation (1842). “Tonna's contributions to social reform literature and her use of the Christian Lady's Magazine as a forum to influence politics through her female readers mark her as a significant nineteenth-century figure, especially for other women social reform writers, such as Harriet Beecher Stowe (who wrote the introduction for her collected works in 1844) and Elizabeth Gaskell” (Oxford DNB).

This is a surprisingly scarce book: OCLC lists four copies in North America (SUNY Buffalo, Library Company of Philadelphia, University of Texas, and Acadia University in Nova Scotia), and three in the U.K.

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