London; 1832, 1837, 1839, and 1834: John Murray; Saunders and Otley; and Edward Moxon. First Editions. Octavo. Item #027355
A Sammelband edition. Sammelband editions are a collection of works gathered and bound into one volume for a collector. In this case, the collector is John Benjamin Heath, (1790-1879). The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography notes his career as merchant, banker and master of the Grocer's Company (In 1829 he published Some Account of the Company of Grocers). He was active in literary and theatre circles as a patron and was a member of the Roxburghe Club and of the Diletante Society. Clearly he had a great appreciation of Frances (Fanny) Kemble who was the brightest of actors of her day but soon began to write her own plays. In spite of her acclaim as an actress, she preferred writing plays and poetry to performing in them. Her marriage in Philadelphia to Pierce Butler (1807-1867) was soon complicated as they moved to his vast Georgia plantation and her abolitionist sympathies became a source of conflict. She kept a journal of her experiences which was published in 1863 as Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1839-1839. Francis the First is Frances, Kemble's first book. These are the first or early printings which were bound together for John Benjamin Heath for his devotion to her genius and presence on the British stage. A fourth volume by J.S. Knowles' The Beggar of Bethnal Green (1834) is bound in as the final volume of the sammelband. A very nice collection bound in full calf, raised bands gilt, maroon morocco spine label gilt, from the library of John Benjamin Heath with his bookplate. A fine copy.