JAMESON, Anna Brownell (as “Mrs. Jameson) (1794-1860). Winter Studies and Summer Rambles in Canada. London: Saunders and Otley, 1838.
3 volumes. 12mo., (7 ½ x 4 ¾ inches). (Light spotting to endpapers). Contemporary half tan calf, marbled paper boards, the spine in six compartments with five raised bands decorated with gilt tooling, with black morocco lettering piece in one (slightly scuffed, especially at extremities).
Provenance: Two contemporary manuscript ownership inscriptions: “Sophia Collins 1840” (title page) and "Arthurine T. Collins 1867" (verso of front free endpaper); bookplate of John M. Cameron to front pastedown
First edition. “Mrs. Jameson” was a British writer, feminist, and traveler. “Winter studies and summer rambles in Canada, published in London in 1838, is the record of both her winter in Toronto and her summer trip. In “Winter studies,” written in the form of a journal to an absent friend, she intersperses notes on the frigidity of weather and society with lively characterizations of the few people…Her sharp and witty analysis of the current political factions, in those months rising toward the crisis of the rebellion, begins with a general indictment: ‘There reigns here a hateful factious spirit in political matters, but for the present no public or patriotic feeling, no recognition of general or generous principles of policy: as yet I have met with none of these. Canada is a colony, not a country’…In “Summer rambles” we see Anna at her best, an intrepid, adaptable, enthusiastic explorer, intensely interested in everyone she meets (Colonel Thomas Talbot being a lively example) and everything she experiences. She was delighted to be “the first European female” to shoot the rapids at the Sault, her companion a part-Indian friend, George Johnston. Escorted homeward down Lake Huron in a bateau rowed by four voyageurs, she was awestruck by the unspoiled beauty of the islands around her, “fairy Edens” as she called them…She spiced her account of the tour with well-authenticated Indian lore gathered both from her reading and from her visit with Henry Rowe Schoolcraft and his family at Michilimackinac. The comparative position of women among whites and Indians is also a major theme, as is the need for women’s education according to their various spheres of opportunity…The critical and popular success of Winter studies and summer rambles reinforced Anna’s reputation as a writer – but Robert Jameson, she reported, was ‘displeased’" (Clara Thomas for DCB).
John M. Cameron was a prominent Chicago attorney (Custer & Cameron) during the first part of the 20th Century, as well as President of the Chicago Literary Club in the early 1930s.
A very nice copy of a 19th-century feminist travelogue.