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West Coast Rare Books

West Coast Rare Books

Westport / Ireland

Leadbeater, Cottage Dialogues Among the Irish Peasantry.

Leadbeater, Cottage Dialogues Among the Irish Peasantry.

Leadbeater, Mary / Edgeworth, Maria (Notes and Preface). Cottage Dialogues Among the Irish Peasantry. With Notes and A Preface by Maria Edgeworth, Author of Castle Rackrent, &c. [‘Glossary and Notes’ from page 269 to 343]. First Edition. London, Printed for J. Johnson and Co., 1811. 17 x 10 cm. v, (4) [TOC], 343 pages. Rebacked in 2022 using the original boards. New matching green cloth spine and black spine label. Gilt title. See images provided. Very good condition. New spine and end papers. Rebacked in 2022. Original boards worn, rubbed and bumped. Internally dust dulled. Faint blind stamp (’ Birkbeck College Library’) on first blank and title page. Numbers in pencil on verso of title page. Corner of page 73/74 missing, not affecting text. Small paper losses to page 103/104, not affecting text. A very nice copy of this very scarce publication. WorldCAT lists only one copy of the 1811 First Edition.

Mary Leadbeater (1758 – 1826) was an Irish author and diarist, born in Ballitore, Athy, County Kildare, Ireland. She was the daughter of Richard Shackleton (1726-1792) by his second wife, Elizabeth Carleton, and granddaughter of Abraham Shackleton, schoolmaster of Edmund Burke. Her parents were Quakers. She was thoroughly educated, and her literary studies were aided by Aldborough Wrightson, a man of great ability who had been educated at Ballitore school and had returned to die there.
In 1791 she married William Leadbeater, a former pupil of her father, and they resided in Ballitore. Leadbeater, who traced his descent from the Huguenot family of Le Batre, was a small farmer and landowner, and his wife kept the village post office. They had six children.
In 1808 she published Poems with a metrical version of her husband’s prose translation of Maffæus Vegio’s Thirteenth Book of the Æneid. The poems are sixty-seven in number; six are on subjects relating to Burke, one in praise of the spa of Ballitore, and the remainder on domestic and local subjects. She next published in 1811 Cottage Dialogues among the Irish Peasantry, of which four editions, with some alterations and additions, had appeared by 1813. The dialogues are on such subjects as dress, a wake, going to the fair, a spinning match, cow-pock, cookery, and matrimony. William P. Le Fanu (1774-1817) had suggested the design, and the object was to diffuse information about the peasantry. In 1813 she tried to instruct the rich on a similar plan in The Landlord’s Friend. Intended as a sequel to Cottage Dialogues, in which persons of quality are made to discourse on such topics as beggars, spinning wheels, and Sunday in the village, Tales for Cottagers, which she brought out in 1814 in conjunction with Elizabeth Shackleton, is a return to the original design. The tales illustrate perseverance, temper, economy, and are followed by a curious moral play, Honesty is the best policy.
In 1822 she concluded this series with Cottage Biography, being a Collection of Lives of the Irish Peasantry. The lives are those of real persons, and contain some interesting passages, especially in the life of James Dunn, a pilgrim to Loch Derg. Many traits of Irish country life appear in these books, and they preserve several of the idioms of the English-speaking inhabitants of the Pale. Memoirs and Letters of Richard and Elizabeth Shackleton … compiled by their Daughter was also issued in 1822 (new edition. 1849, edited by Lydia Ann Barclay). Her Biographical Notices of Members of the Society of Friends who were resident in Ireland appeared in 1823, and is a summary of their spiritual lives, with a scanty narrative of events. Her last work was The Pedlars, a Tale, published in 1824.
Besides receiving letters from Burke, Leadbeater corresponded with, among others, Maria Edgeworth, George Crabbe, and Mrs Melesina Trench, and from the age of eleven kept a private journal. She died at Ballitore 27 June 1826, and was buried in the Quaker burial-ground there.
Leadbeater’s best work, the Annals of Ballitore, was not printed till 1862, when it was brought out with the general title of The Leadbeater Papers (2 vols.) by Richard Davis Webb, a learned and patriotic printer, eager to preserve every truthful illustration of Irish life. It tells of the inhabitants and events of Ballitore from 1766 to 1823, and few books give a better idea of the character and feelings of Irish cottagers, of the premonitory signs of the rebellion of 1798, and of the horrors of the outbreak itself. The second volume includes unpublished letters of Burke and the correspondence with Mrs. Richard Trench and with Crabbe (Wikipedia).

Our price: EUR 495,-- 

Leadbeater, Cottage Dialogues Among the Irish Peasantry.
Leadbeater, Cottage Dialogues Among the Irish Peasantry.
Leadbeater, Cottage Dialogues Among the Irish Peasantry.
Leadbeater, Cottage Dialogues Among the Irish Peasantry.
Leadbeater, Cottage Dialogues Among the Irish Peasantry.

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