London: Marcus Ward, 1881.
Second edition of a beautifully illustrated Australian natural history book, specially written for children by pioneer Tasmanian novelist, Louisa Anne Meredith (1812 -1895). [Ferguson, 12515; Morris Miller, p.612; Muir, 4977.]
Louisa Mederdith migrated to Australia in 1839 to join her husband Charles who enjoyed mixed fortunes in the colony. As a young woman in England, Louisa was remarkable for her outspoken political views and public support of the Chartists. Life in Van Diemen’s Land held its own challenges, and despite the loneliness and isolation of pioneering life, Louisa maintained a steady literary and artistic output. Natural history fascinated her: ‘she studied plants, insects, seaweeds and fish of Tasmania’s east coast and was an active member of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and an honorary member of the Tasmanian Royal Society’ (DNB).
During the four years Louisa Meredith lived at Port Sorrell, she diligently recorded everything of interest. One such event was the disappearance in 1846 of three little girls and a boy in the Sassafras Valley, later found by Louisa’s husband Charles. This dramatic rescue was fictionalised in Tasmanian Friends and Foes, and although the book primarily describes animal life for younger readers, topics such as convict servants and the Aborigines are encountered.
Small quarto, bound in original gilt pictorial cloth with splendid gilt-decorated endpapers, bevelled edges, all edges gilt, eight chromolithographic plates, mild bumping to upper right hand corner, ocassional spotting, a lovely copy, very good.
Price (AUD): $350.00 other currencies