Jul 15, 2021 - Sale 2576

Sale 2576 - Lot 34

Estimate: $ 400 - $ 600
Stanhope, Eugenia (d. 1783)
The Deportment of a Married Life.

London: Printed for Mr. Hodges & Sold by C. Mason, 1798.

Second edition, a reissue of the 1790 with a new title page and first signature, published anonymously, bound in contemporary marbled calf, original red spine label, front joint cracked, ex libris Walter Strickland, with his armorial bookplate, 8 1/4 x 5 in.

Although one may expect Stanhope to have antiquated views on marriage and a woman's role, in her own life she bore two children out of wedlock and married only four years after the second was born. Her husband kept her a secret from his family, and only upon his death did Eugenia's father-in-law, 4th Early of Chesterfield learn of her existence, and that of his two grandsons. He duly provided for the grandchildren in his will but left Eugenia flat. She decided to provide for herself by selling her deceased husband's unpublished letters of advice to his sons. Their content was considered immoral at the time but made Eugenia financially independent. One wonders whether that first foray into publishing inspired her to take up her own pen.

ESTC T123797; rare at auction.