London: Henry Colburn, 1816.
First edition. [ii], 295; [ii], 390; [ii], 322 pp., lacking half-titles. 3 vols. 12mo. Contemporary half calf and marbled boards, spine of vol. I defective (missing top half, front hinge off); vol II neatly rebacked; endsheets of all three volumes slightly spotted. A good copy, however, with a contemporary provenance: from the libraries of Dowager Lady Vernon, with her signature, dated 1816, on each title page; and Edward Lord Suffield, with his bookplate (both likely acquaintances of Lamb and Byron) Wolff 3938 (lacks half-titles). Item #243095
Lady Caroline Lamb's notorious and deliriously written roman à clé, to exact her revenge on Byron for her seduction and abandonment. When our protagonist Calantha encounters Ruthven Glenarvon (i.,e., Byron), her helplessness is described thus:
"The eye of the rattle-snake, it has been said, once fixed upon its victim, overpowers it with terror and alarm: the bird, thus charmed, dares not attempt its escape; it sings its last sweet lay; flutters its little pinions in the air, then falls like a shot before its destroyer, unable to fly from his fascination. Calantha bowed, therefore with the rest, pierced to the heart at once by the maddening power that destroys alike the high and low; but she liked not the wily turn of his eye, the contemptuous sneer of his curling lip, the soft passionless tones of his voice ... "
Price: $1,500.00 Free International Delivery