A DESCRIPTION OF MILLENIUM [sic MILLENNIUM] HALL, AND THE COUNTRY ADJACENT: TOGETHER WITH THE CHARACTERS OF THE INHABITANTS, AND SUCH HISTORICAL ANECDOTES AND REFLECTIONS, AS MAY EXCITE IN THE READER PROPER SENTIMENTS OF HUMANITY, AND LEAD THE MIND TO THE LOVE OF VIRTUE. By A Gentleman on his Travels [pseudonym]. London: Printed for J. Newbery, at the Bible and Sun, in St. Paul's Church-yard, MDCCLXII . 12mo, pp. [1-4] 1-262 [263-264: publisher's ads], collates [A]2 B-I12 K-M12, engraved frontispiece (depicting Millenium Hall), handsomely bound in full speckled calf by Zaehnsdorf, all panels ruled and tooled in gold, spine panel with five raised bands and elaborate floral design in gold, brown leather title and date pieces stamped in gold, all edges gilt, inner dentelles, marbled endpapers. First edition. A DESCRIPTION OF MILLENIUM HALL AND THE COUNTRY ADJACENT is "the most important utopian women's novel produced in eighteenth-century Britain" (Fortunati and Trousson, eds., Dictionary of Literary Utopias, pp. 393-4). It was a best seller when it first appeared in 1762, running through four editions by 1778. Its author, Sarah Scott (1723-1795), was among the pioneer creators of the novel genre, along with Sarah Fielding, Aphra Behn, Henry Fielding and Samuel Richardson. She "was an English novelist, translator, social reformer, and member of the Bluestockings. Her most famous work was her utopian novel A DESCRIPTION OF MILLENIUM HALL AND THE COUNTRY ADJACENT (1762), followed closely by the sequel THE HISTORY OF SIR GEORGE ELLISON ... The utopian tale depicts a community of women devoted to artistic pursuits and education, Christian virtues, and philanthropy. The populations they serve include children, the poor, the elderly, the disabled, and the deformed. MILLENIUM HALL provided a fictional example of the ideals of the bluestocking circle ... a social group of middle- and upper-class men and women who would meet for intellectual discussions and philanthropic service ... Scott's utopian novel presents a 'critique of court politics, culture, and society' ... Interest in its feminist meaning brought it back into public attention in the late twentieth century" (Wikipedia). Lewis, Utopian Literature, p. 174. Negley, Utopian Literature 1017. Sargent, British and American Utopian Literature, 1516-1985 (1988), p. 26. Very faint early owner's signature at the top of the title page. Skillful repair to outer front joint, mild toning to a few text leaves, but overall an excellent, nearly fine copy. (#168377).
No statement of printing.