A Novel.

SMITH, Charlotte

SMITH, Charlotte Marchmont: A Novel.

Sampson Low, 1796.

First edition. Four volumes, all bound in contemporary speckled calf, with black morocco title labels to the spine and gilt rules and floral motif. Wanting half-titles, but with terminal advert leaf to vol 4. A fine set, fresh and crisp, with a little wear to the headband of vol 3, but completely without repair. Internally fresh with just a couple of sections slightly proud in vol 4. An exceptional set.

Smith's penultimate novel, in which she deftly combines a sensationalist style and all the Gothic hallmarks: heroine sent to haunted decaying family mansion, unnatural phenomena, so popular at the time with the observational sensibilities of the heroine, which Jane Austen was to popularise some twenty years later.
"In Marchmont, Mrs. Smith achieved a synthesis of domestic and Gothic fiction, a convergence of the imaginary horrors of Gothic fantasy and the real horrors of domestic life during an era of revolution and reaction... [the novel contains] one of Mrs. Smith's most memorable Gothic demons, the attorney, Mr. Vampyre. The concentration of evil in a diabolically intelligent male character reflects Mrs. Smith's acceptance of the need for this type of character in making her work marketable for a Gothic readership. Vampyre foreshadows Dickens's voracious lawyers and inhuman professionals who feed off the monetary misfortunes of good characters." - Frederick Frank (The First Gothics)

Frank 425, Summers p.399

Stock ID: 39704


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