First edition of this epistolary novel-memoir, an early and compelling example of the self-conscious novelization of a woman's life.
Very good plus.
LUCINDA; Or the Mountain Mourner
"[H]ow ardently I could wish, that every soul of unspotted innocence, might read and mentally realize the wrongs and sufferings of the unfortunate Lucinda."
Once ambivalently recorded as "memoirist or novelist," Manvill has since been vindicated by the historical record as recording the truth: Lucinda Manvill, her stepdaughter and the book's heroine, suffers an assault; she returns to her father's house pregnant and alone; the neighbors seek to have her expelled from the town, and only the soft heart of a local magistrate allows her to remain through the birth of her child. Shortly thereafter she dies. From this brutal sequence of events, Manvill constructs a suspenseful and sentimental narrative, offered as a "awful warning to all the youthful and innocent daughters of Adam." Her stepdaughter's only faults, she argues, were ignorance and too much trust; thus she offers young women not admonition and blame but knowledge and warning, along with a heartfelt plea that others who "fall" similarly be forgiven.
LUCINDA is also a technical tutorial in the earliest decades of American literature: Manvill discloses her literary choices at every turn, frankly explaining how she holds back revelations when it would be "out of place" to puncture suspense; transparently discussing her choice to report intimate scenes through the distanced and indirect language of letters; showing step by step the process of constructing a sentimental novel out of the raw materials of reality. A remarkable historical document of the systematic brutality visited on women by the systems of society.
Read more: Mischelle Booher Anthony, "I Trust Every Feeling Heart": Reader History and P. D. Manvill's Lucinda; Or The Mountain Mourner.
Johnstown [New York]: W. & A. Child, 1807. 6.5'' x 4''. Contemporary full sheep. 150 pages. Light wear to boards, with scuffing and shallow chipping to spine foot, text block uniformly toned with sections of spotting.
The Fine Print
We work hard to meet our ethical responsibilty to describe our material accurately. All items are guaranteed as described and may be returned for any reason within 30 days. Please notify us before mailing a return.
We guarantee the authenticity of our items. All items are original (meaning not facsimiles or reproductions), first editions (i.e. first printings), unless otherwise noted. TPM is a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America and upholds their Code of Ethics.
All items subject to prior sale. Domestic orders over $250 and international orders over $500 ship gratis. We use USPS unless otherwise requested. Expedited, overnight, or international shipping, as well as other carriers, may carry additional costs beyond quoted rates. All orders receive tracking information and a direct contact in case of any questions.
We accept all major credit cards, Paypal, Venmo, check, money order, and bank wire. We are happy to accomodate institutional buyers' needs. Sales tax will be added to applicable purchases.
If for any reason you are dissatisfied with your purchase, please contact us. We prioritize our long-term relationships far above any individual purchase, and we want you to love your item as much as we loved cataloguing it.