(INCHBALD, Elizabeth). ~ Mistriss Walter, ou Nouvelle et dernière suite de Simple Histoire par Madame de S**... Paris: chez Louis, 1800.
Two vols in one, 12mo (131 × 80 mm), pp. xii, 146; , 135, , including half-titles and 2 pp. advert at end, plus two engraved frontispieces. Some pale foxing, mainly marginal, generally very clean. Contemporary sprinkled sheep, sides with gilt borders, panelled spine with two black morocco labels. Rubbed, upper joint slightly more worn with slight loss at headcap. Still a very good copy.
First edition of this anonymous French sequel to Inchbald’s Simple Story (1791), a novel which had been as popular in France as it had been in England, and spawned a host of sequels and spinoffs there. The title-page attribution here is ambiguous (probably deliberately so) in the way in which it gives ‘par Madame de S**’ — making it unclear whether the publisher wishes to refer to a supposed author of the French Simple Histoire or simply to the author of this sequel. Among the other books listed in the adverts are four volumes of Simple Histoire testifying to its continued popularity nine years after it first appeared in France. Mistriss Walter nonetheless appears to have been entirely overlooked by Inchbald scholars. Worldcat lists US copies at Harvard and Princeton and there is a copy at Cambridge (England).