Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark

WOLLSTONECRAFT, Mary

THE FIRST ACCOUNT BY A WOMAN OF TRAVELLING ON BUSINESS

WOLLSTONECRAFT, Mary Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark

J. Johnson, 1802.

Second edition. Contemporary half calf over marbled boards Somewhat worn to spine ends and corners, wanting title label from spine, but leaving blind impression. Internally clean, a good copy.

Wollstonecraft's short residence came about when her lover, Gilbert Imlay, had suffered the loss of some valuable cargo in Scandinavia. In an attempt to restore their faltering relationship, Wollstonecraft undertook to negotiate the return of the ship on his behalf. What resulted was a series of twenty five letters covering a wide range of subjects including sociological reflections on Scandinavia and its people and philosophical questions regarding identity. It was the last work published during her lifetime, but is regarded as the first account by a woman travelling on business. It was also Wollstonecraft's most successful book of the 1790s.
"When Johnson published the Letters they found an enthusiastic public, not least among young poets. The wording of her description of the waterfalls she visited appears to have played a part in inspiring Coleridge's description of the sacred river Alph in Xanadu; and the theme of the book set a fashion for questing romantic journeys. Byron, Wordsworth, Shelley, and Mary's as yet unborn daughter Mary, who sends her Frankenstein north at the end of his story, all read and followed in Mary Wollstonecraft's footsteps" - Tomalin (The Life and Death of Mary Wollstonecraft).

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