London: Henry G. Bohn, 1850. Second edition. Contemporary half morocco over marbled boards with gilt to spine. Light rubbing to boards and spine, and gentle bumps to corners. Marbled endpapers. Early ownership signature of Emma Billings Hathaway to front endpaper. Frontis a bit loose at bottom corner but holding well; first signature a bit proud. Tape repairs to margins of pages 5-6 and 7-8 not affecting text. Occasional light scattered foxing. Measures 127 x 190mm. Collating [ii], 126, [2, adverts]: complete, including frontis and 3 coloured plates. First published in 1846 under the title Memoirs of a London Doll, the book's popularity led to a second edition in 1850 under the present title. A scarce children's book written and illustrated by women for little girls, OCLC reports that both the first and second editions are quite scare, with only 3 institutionally held copies of this edition. It is currently the earliest edition available on the market.
Beginning with her creation in the workshop of the famed dollmaker Mr. Sprat, this charming children's book traces the London Doll's movements throughout the city, as she travels from the homes of Miss Ellen, Lady Flora, and Miss Mary -- all little girls who become her "mammas" at various moments in life. The doll's adventures give little girl readers a chance to see their own lives and interests reflected in text; and they also give children an opportunity to think about the kinds of lives led by girls in social classes other than their own. By anthropomorphizing the Doll and allowing readers to see through her eyes, the book in a meaningful way comments as well on human kindness that often goes unrecognized or unremarked. Very Good + (Item #2866)