Edith Mortimer, or, The Trials of life at Mortimer Manor.…

Edith Mortimer, or, The Trials of life at Mortimer Manor. by PARSONS, [Gertrude], Mrs. < >

~ Edith Mortimer, or, The Trials of life at Mortimer Manor. London: [Cox and Wyman for] Charles Dolman, 1857.

8vo (170 × 98 mm), pp. [8], 168, 48 (adverts for other Catholic works published by Dolman), compete with half-title. Publisher’s ribbed and embossed brown cloth, gilt spine. Very slightly rubbed but an excellent, bright copy.

First edition of this very scarce novel by a significant British Catholic author. She was born Gertrude Hext in Cornwall in 1812 and became a Catholic in 1844. A review of Edith Mortimer in The Rambler enthused: ‘Mrs. Parsons is one of our best writers of Catholic fiction. There is a heartiness and energy about almost every thing that comes from her pen...’

‘A deeply religious woman, Gertrude Parsons was charitable to the poor and a leading benefactor of the mission at Little Malvern. Gertrude Parsons’s enthusiastic commitment to her adopted faith was most apparent, however, in many of her published works. Thornberry Abbey (1846), in which the heroine and her clergyman fiancé are both converted to Catholicism, is clearly semi-autobiographical. In another early novel, Edith Mortimer, or, The Trials of Life (1857), a young Roman Catholic convert learns to conquer her pride, breaking off her engagement to a rich protestant cousin. In the 1860s Gertrude Parsons wrote four tract tales for Burns and Oates’s Tales and Narrative series, which was aimed at a working-class audience; these included Lent Lilies and The Muffin Girl’ (Rosemary Mitchell in Oxford DNB). WorldCat lists US copies at Brigham Young and Huntington only.

Keywords: english, literature, women
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