London: Macmillan, 1869. First edition. Original publisher's cloth binding with gilt to spine and boards embossed in blind. A square, bright copy, with just a touch of sunning to the spine and some gentle shelfwear. Brown coated endpapers. Collating lxiv, 367, [1, blank]: complete and largely unopened. Evidence of bookplate removal to front pastedown and early ownership stamp of spirit merchant William Maxwell to header of half-title; light scattered foxing to preliminary and terminal leaves. In all, an extremely pleasing copy of this cornerstone feminist work.
"The following essays have been collected with grave and serious purpose...It has long been my conviction that the cause we advocate, though primarily and more immediately the cause of women, is secondarily and in a yet graver and more weighty sense the cause of men...wherever one class or set of human beings has been placed at a disadvantage as compared with another class, has been deprived of whatsoever just privileges...we can scarcely fail to perceive that the class which suffers most eventually is not the class which is deprived, oppressed, or denied but that which deprives, oppresses, and denies." Positioning women's rights as a human concern, Butler, a feminist activist best known as an advocate for sex worker health, drew together the essays included in the present volume. Contributors on the topic of women's work were all luminaries in their fields, men as well as women. And among the notable women were Frances Power Cobbe, the suffragist and employment activist, and Sophia Jex-Blake, the first woman M.D. in the United Kingdom. Near Fine (Item #3851)