Maggs Bros Ltd

Eureka, Eureka. The Virtuous Woman found.

WALKER Anthony (1678)

£2500.00  [First Edition]

Her Loss Bewailed, and Character Exemplified in a Sermon Preached at Felsted in Essex, April, 30, 1678. At the Funeral of that most Excellent Lady the Right Honourable, and Eminently Religious and Charitable Mary, Countess Dowager of Warwick, the most Illustrious Pattern of Sincere Piety, and Solid Goodness this Age hath produced. With so large additions as may be stiled the Life of that Noble Lady. To which are annexed some of her Ladyships Pious and Useful Meditations.

First Edition. 8vo. [14], 213, [11 ]pp. Engraved portrait by Robert White very slightly trimmed at the outer edge). Title within a mourning border. Handsome contemporary black morocco, covers panelled in gilt, spine gilt, marbled endleaves, gilt edges (very slighty rubbed at the edges, spine a little faded).

London: for Nathanael Ranew,

Wing W301. Sweeney, Ireland and the Printed Word, no. 4510. The title-page is leaf A3. With the first blank leaf and the 10pp. of advertisements at the end. With a separate title to "Occasional Meditations upon Sundry Subjects" (40pp.) and a subtitle to "Pious Reflections upon several Scriptures" (27pp.).

 

Lady Mary Boyle (1625-1678), 7th. daughter of the Earl of Cork married in 1641 Charles Rich, 4th. Earl of Warwick. Dedicated jointly to her sister Catherine, Countess of Ranelagh and her brother the Hon. Robert Boyle, the famous scientist.

 

Walker's biography is based on the Puritan Mary Rich's manuscript autobiography and her spiritual diaries from 1666-1677 (British Library, MSS. 27351-58) extracts from which are interwoven into his text. 

 

“Those few of her Ladyships pious and excellent Papers, which are inserted in the discourse, or subjoined to it; (as they justly may, so I hope they) will give Ornament and Lustre to it, in the Judgment of all serious Christians: As richer Trimmings of Gold and Silk use to do to Garments made of courser [sic] Material.” (Dedication).

 

"Rich's diaries are important for a variety of reasons, not least for being so extensive - few diarists carried on so extensive a record of their spiritual lives for so long - and they are interesting sexually." - Andrew Cambers, Godly Reading: Print, Manuscript and Puritanism in England 1580-1720 (Cambridge, 2011), p. 48, n. 35. They include detailed records of her reading. Extracts from her meditations, edited by Barham, were published by the Religious Tract Society in 1847 and her autobiography, Some Specialties in the life of M. Warwick, edited by T. C. Croker, was published by the Percy Society in 1848. Much of the material was used by Charlotte Fell Smith in her biography Mary Rich, Countess of Warwick, 1901. There has been no modern edition of her writings.

 

This volume is particularly important as it contains all of her writings that were published before 1847. Katherine Philips wrote an elegy on the death of her only son Charles, "On the death of my Lord Rich, only Son to the Earl of Warick, who dyed of the small Pox, 1664", a disease which was to kill Philips herself only a month later.

 

Provenance: Ink initials "LC" at the head of the title. Various booksellers pencil marks (Quaritch, Ximenes & John Lawson). Dr Tony Sweeney (1931-2012), Irish collector and bibliographer (no marks of ownership).

Stock Code: 218011