llustrated by W.W. Russell, from Sketches by Edith OE Somerville. With sixteen plates, and other illustrations throughout the text. London: Allen, 1893. Crown octavo. First edition. pp. viii, 200, 32 (Allen’s General Catalogue). Publisher’s pictorial rush-green cloth. Spine professionally restored. New endpapers. Some minor spotting, two corners a trifle bumped. Previous owner’s
signature on titlepage. A very good copy. Hudson 7.
Edith Anna Oenone Somerville, author, artist, organist, feminist, inspiring leader and farmer was born in Corfu in 1858 and grew up at Drishane the seat of the Somerville family in Castletownshend, County Cork. Through her mother she was descended from Chief Justice Charles Kendal Bushe, this eminent lawyer was the great-grandfather of Edith and of her cousin and co-author Violet Florence Martin of Ross, County Galway, better known under the pen-name of Martin Ross. On the 17 January 1886 Edith first met Violet and from that moment their literary partnership began and continued until Violet’s death in 1915. Edith although deeply saddened by the death of her beloved partner continued to write until the end of her own life insisting subsequent titles were jointly written. For her massive contribution to literature, in 1932 Trinity College conferred on her an honorary Litt.D. The Mistress of Drishane died in 1949.
This book although dated 1893, was in fact published in November 1892, having been in the previous year serialised in ‘The Ladies Pictorial’.
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