London: George Bell & Sons, 1889. First edition. Original publisher's cloth binding with gilt to spine and front board. Spine slightly rubbed and soiled; gentle shelfwear to extremities. Black coated endpapers. Internally a clean, complete, and pleasing copy. Inscribed by the author in the year of publication on the front flyleaf: "M. E. with F. P. C.'s dear love. Sept. 21. 1889." Scarce at institutions and in the trade, OCLC lists this title at only 9 U.S. institutions.
Frances Power Cobbe was a leader in both the British women's rights movement and its anti-vivisection campaigns, as she maintained an intersectional approach to activism. "For Cobbe, as for a number of other Victorian feminists, there was a close connection between feminism and the anti-vivisection campaign, in that both were fighting to protect defenseless creatures from the limitless powers of men...Cobbe's battles against vivisection soon encompassed a broader attack on the arrogance, brutality, and atheism of science and of the medical profession" (ODNB). In her years of retirement, after 1870, Cobbe left her lucrative journalism career to dedicate herself fully to these social movements alongside her longtime partner Mary Lloyd. Dedicating the present work to her own dog, Dee, Cobbe composes a study of the dog's role in ancient cultures as wide-ranging as India, Persia, Greece and Rome as well as in modern European cultures. This leads into a discussion of how major poetic works by writers "From Chaucer to Byron" have been inspired by dogs, before concluding with Cobbe's main examination into dogs' victimization at the hands of vivisectionists despite their role as human comforters and protectors. Ultimately, she encourages readers to recognize that the most widespread animal cruelty is not committed by "the coarse, red type. They are highly refined, white-handed gentlemen--with every outward semblance of refinement. Scientific cruelty is quite an exquisite kind of vice." Unlike so many of Cobbe's more balanced and rational arguments, The Friend of Man is a highly emotional appeal, blending poetry with fact to create an awareness of hypocrisy and shame that encourages people toward the anti-vivisection movement. Near Fine (Item #2811)