London: Macmillan and Co., 1893. First edition. Finely bound in full brown crushed morocco. Gilt detailing to front board and spine. Top-edge gilt. Binding in excellent condition overall. A previous owner's inscription on the first blank (and a bookplate on the verso of front end paper). Slight foxing internally, mostly at the early and late leaves. A Near Fine copy overall, charmingly illustrated by Hugh Thomson.
"Our Village, by Mary Russell Mitford, was one of the first books written which show the poetry of everyday life in the country; and Miss Mitford may fairly be called the founder of the school of village literature. There is no connected story, but the book contains a series of charming sketches of country scenes and country people. The chronicler wanders through the lanes and meadows with her white greyhound Mayflower, gossips about the trees, the flowers, and the sunsets, and describes the beauty of English scenery. The chapters on The First Primrose, Violeting, The Copse, The Wood, The Dell, and The Cowslip Ball, seem to breathe the very atmosphere of spring; while others tell interesting stories about the people and village life. In her walks, the saunterer is accompanied by Lizzy, the carpenter’s daughter, a fascinating baby of three, who trudges by her side, and is a very entertaining companion. Descriptions of the country are dwelt on more frequently than descriptions of the people, but there is a capital sketch of Hannah Bint,—who showed great judgment in setting up as a dairy-woman when only twelve years old,—besides various short discourses on schoolboys, farmers, and the trades-people of the town. The scenes are laid in “shady yet sunny Berkshire, where the scenery, without rising into grandeur or breaking into wildness, is so peaceful, so cheerful, so varied, and so thoroughly English” (Bartleby). Near Fine (Item #4588)