MORGAN, Lady. France. Two volumes. 910 London: Printed for Henry Colburn, 1817. Second edition. pp. (1) xvi, , 4-416, (2) vii, [1 (errata)], , 413, clxxx. Contemporary full tree calf, title and volume in gilt on red morocco labels. Armorial bookplate of Michael Morris, Baron Killanin on front pastedown. Old stain on lower margin of titlepage to volume one. Joints of second volume starting. A fine set.
“When in April 1816 Lady Morgan decided to go to France, her fame went before her. With her husband they were received in Paris as people of high standing and intellect. As always she sought out whatever Irish exiles she could and the ex-United Irishman General Lawless, a veteran of the Irish Brigade wrote home to his cousin Lord Cloncurry: ‘I like extremely this lady; she is agreeable, witty and with as little conceit as can be found in a woman of her merits’.
In ‘France’ we have a brilliant piece of journalism, a personal look at life and society in the Napoleonic era. At the time it caused great controversy, but it was widely read and very entertaining. In the preface she states ‘I attempted to expose the evils of despotic governments, in opposition to the blessings and benefits of representative government, to display the fatal effects of a powerful and intolerant superstition as opposed to the enlightened doctrines of rational and revealed religion’.”