London: Published by Leonard and Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press, 1935. Octavo, measuring 7.25 x 4.5 inches: 96. Original full black cloth, spine lettered in gilt, original blue pictorial dust jacket printed in burgundy, designed by Vanessa Bell. Three full-page plates. Appendix at rear. Lightest sunning to jacket spine, single small spot to back panel of jacket.
First edition of this biography of Charlotte Stuart, the daughter of Bonnie Prince Charlie, often overlooked in the story of the Jacobite Rebellion: “one at least of the members of the House of Stuart has no share of the glamour, no mention in song or romance.” Born out of wedlock, Charlotte was not legitimized by her father until well into adulthood, when he finally made her Duchess of Albany; she was his only child to survive into maturity and cared for him in his final years in Rome. This book, based primarily upon newly discovered letters between Charlotte in Rome and her mother in Paris, blends historical research with imaginative empathy for an exiled noblewoman in trying circumstances. The appendix includes Charlotte’s own autobiographical account, written in 1774 for King Louis XV, which seems to be referenced in Bell's cover image of a woman gazing into the distance, far past her Roman surroundings, as she wields her pen. Author Susan Buchan herself married a Scotsman: the novelist John Buchan, who wrote The Thirty-Nine Steps. Woolmer 360. A beautiful copy.