London: printed for J. Johnson, No. 72, St. Paul’s Church-Yard, 1791. Second Edition. Vellum. First Edition illustrated by William Blake (and first to carry Wollstonecraft's name on title page) of this didactic collection of stories for children. 12mo: viii,,177,[3,advertisements]pp, with six full-page copper-engraved plates (including frontispiece) designed and engraved by William Blake. No half-title, as issued. A superb copy, newly rebound by Fitterer in full vellum with salmon pink morocco lettering piece gilt. Light offsetting from plates, very minor foxing, else clean and bright in a very pretty pristine binding. Bentley 421A. Bibliotheca Bibliographici 596. Windle 3. Ashley Library IX, p 157 and X, p. 219 ("first [edition] to proclaim the name of the authoress"). Easson & Essick I, #III ("there are two states of the plates, but only a few copies have the first state. Some are a mixture."). Fine. Item #BB1281
First published in 1788, the story of a governess who teaches her two spoiled charges the virtues of charity, honesty, and selflessness. (Indeed, just before beginning work on Original Stories, Wollstonecraft was sacked from her position as governess to the aristocratic Kingsborough family in Ireland.) Following the lead of Locke, her stories stress the "significance of environment and attribute youthful corruption to social causes. Unlike her future radical work, however, it proposed not political reform as a solution to economic inequality but individual benevolence." (Literary Encyclopedia) N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed.