London: J. Dodsley, 1769. First Edition. 8vo, [iv], 288pp; contemporary sprinkled calf, with red spine label and gilt-tooled harp emblems within five compartments separated by raised bands; marbled endpapers; ribbon marker intact. Issued without half-title. An inscription dated 1849 on the first blank is a long quotation from Cowper about Mrs. Montagu's "Essay"; in the rear, two of the final blank pages are filled with lengthy quotations from correspondence between Mrs. Montagu and Dr. [James] Beattie; some abrasion to the front endpapers; covers rubbed ; a nice, bright, internally clean and sharp copy. Item #205827
Mrs. Montagu's first book and a high water-mark of literary criticism of the time. Mrs. Montagu was a leading member of the Bluestocking circle, hosting a salon at her house.