H&W Brochure - page 28-29

Maria Edgeworth; [Ada Lovelace]. Tales of Fashionable Life.
London: J. Johnson,
1809-1812. Six 12mo volumes, contemporary three-quarter calf, marbled paper boards.
Contemporary stamp of Ashley Combe to front pastedowns, later stamp of Ben Damph
Forest Library to front free endpapers. $2000.
Complete set of Anglo-Irish educator and novelist Maria Edgeworth’s
Tales of
Fashionable Life
: the second edition of Volumes I-III, and the first edition of
Volumes IV-VI. Known as “the Great Maria,” Edgeworth was widely acclaimed in
her day: her emphasis on practical, hands-on education for children was influential
on both sides of the Atlantic, and bestsellers like
Castle Rackrent
inspired a generation of English novelists.
Tales of Fashionable Life
includes a series
of short works, most notably the short novel
The Absentee
, which impressed writers
as diverse asWalter Scott, Ivan Turgenev, and John Ruskin. This set was part of the
library at Ashley Combe in Somerset, built in 1799 and improved in 1835 for the
benefit of Ada Byron, daughter of poet Lord Byron and young bride ofWilliam
King, later the First Earl of Lovelace. A gifted polymath, Ada Lovelace would work
with mathematician Charles Babbage on his Difference Engine and Analytical
Engine, and her notes on the latter, which contain an algorithm for generating
Bernoulli numbers, are often cited as the first computer program. In 1886, the Earl
purchased the Ben Damph Forest in Scotland, and built Ben Damph House, where
these books eventually settled. An attractive set, offering a connection to two
pioneering nineteenth-century Englishwomen.
1...,8-9,10-11,12-13,14-15,16-17,18-19,20-21,22-23,24-25,26-27 30-31,32-33,34-35,36-37,38
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