London: Printed for Sir Richard Phillips and Co, 1827. First Edition. Contemporary full sheep binding with gilt to spine. Gentle rubbing to extremities, repair to slight crack at the top of the rear hinge. 12mo measures 178 x 101 mm. Collates , xii, 312: complete. Light scattered foxing to endpapers; ownership signature of Mary Peel on front endpaper and top of title page. Overall a clean, tight, and pleasing copy of this rare education book, which is currently the only copy on the market. A Legacy does not appear in the auction record, and OCLC reports only 9 copies of this imprint at institutions.
"The object of this volume is to provide a pleasing Text Book for the perusal of young females during the course of liberal education...The volume will, it is to be presumed, serve as a general Reading Class Book at all Female Seminaries where enlargement of the understanding and expansion of knowledge are the primary objects." In this way A Legacy begins, with the Authoress expressing her appreciation for the work of writers like Mrs. Chapone while also acknowledging a need for updated and modern texts for the education of girls. Drawing on her forty-years' experience as a governess and seminary instructor, the author includes reading on a broad and rigorous array of topics. From the reading of English poetry and history, to lessons on astronomy, animal biology and reproduction, music theory, and polite manners, the book aims to assist girls and young women in becoming intelligent, well rounded members of society. By its end, the author explains that she intends the book as a starting point; the girls' education should continue, based on their own curiosities and drives. "I have sought to guide and enlarge your studies, by naming the best books and authors, by which means you may pursue every subject in detail." An important early work on well rounded and rigorous female education. Near Fine (Item #2478)