"Girls Should be Given an Intellectual Education"
PILKINGTON, Mrs. Mentorial Tales for the Instruction of Young Ladies. Just Leaving School and Entering Upon the Theatre of Life. By Mrs. Pilkington. Philadelphia: Johnson and Warner , 1811.
Early American edition. First English edition was printed in 1802 and first American edition in 1803. Present dedication page dated October 1, 1802. One twelvemo volume (5 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches; 137 x 85 mm). iv, [1, contents], [1, blank], 5-292 pp. We could find no copies of either the first American or First English at auction. We could find only one complete copy of the 1803 edition in a library.

Contemporary full sheep. Spine ruled in gilt. Morocco spine label. Boards rubbed and scuffed. Pages with toning and soiling as usual with American paper of this time. Pages 214-215 with some soiling, obscuring a few words. Small tear from upper outer corner of dedication page (pg iv), not affecting text. Previous owner’s bookplate on front pastedown. Early ink ownership signature on front free endpaper. Overall a very good copy.

“[Pilkington] decided to take advantage of her experience as a teacher and her interest in education and to become a professional writer for children. She had already published a volume of poetry in 1796 and now turned her hand to writing the first of many morally didactic tales. Three were published by Elizabeth Newbery in 1797... Pilkington quickly branched out into educational literature and wrote a succession of works designed for the growing market of girls' boarding-schools, including A Mirror for the Female Sex: Historical Beauties for Young Ladies (1798), Biography for Girls (1798), and Mentorial tales for the instruction of young ladies just leaving school and entering upon the theatre of life (1802). Although she regarded the religious and moral dimensions of education as paramount, she echoed both Hannah More and Mary Wollstonecraft in arguing that girls should be given an intellectual education and in asserting that 'the female mind is certainly as capable of acquiring knowledge as that of the other sex' (A Mirror for the Female Sex, 61).” (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography).

HBS # 68424 $1,000