THE HOUSEHOLD OF BOUVERIE; OR, THE ELIXIR OF GOLD. A ROMANCE, by A Southern Lady [pseudonym]. New York: Derby & Jackson, 498 Broadway, 1860. 12mo, two volumes: pp. [1-8] 9-373 [374: blank] [375-376: ads]; [1-5] 6-413 [414: blank] [415-416: ads], flyleaves at front and rear, original decorated brown cloth, front and rear panels stamped in blind, spine panels stamped in gold, yellow endpapers. First edition. This early Southern Gothic novel set in Kentucky by Catherine Ann Ware Warfield (1816-1877), American poet and novelist born in Natchez, Mississippi, is the story of a young woman who comes from England to America to live with her grandmother and discovers that her grandfather, an alchemist long believed to be dead, is living secretly on the second floor where he is conducting experiments to create an elixir to restore youth. When published anonymously in 1860 Warfield's novel, her first, "won a large public and the approval of various literary critics." - DAB. The novel "is considered her best because of her sense of the tensions within the household, especially for a woman. She wrote nine other novels and is viewed as one of the first important woman novelists of the South." - Blain, Clements and Grundy, The Feminist Companion to Literature in English, pp. 1132-133. "As a novelist her importance lies in her priority in the history of Southern letters, rather than in any intrinsic value. She was one of the first woman novelists of consequence in the South. Obviously influenced by the Gothic romancers, by Walter Scott and Charlotte Brontë and Mrs. Henry Wood, she lacked their knowledge of life and their stylistic skill so that her stories sink under an overwrought emotional attitude and a ponderous diction. The best are the first one and those that deal with the life of Miriam Montfort." - DAB. Foley, p. 300. Wright (II) 2636. Cloth lightly worn at spine ends and corner tips, front free endpaper missing from volume I, both free endpapers missing from volume II, a tight, very good copy. Today, copies of first editions of all of Mrs. Warfield's novels are uncommon. (#157191).
No statement of printing.