London: George Bell and Sons, 1877. Cloth. Near Fine. Lightly rubbed, corners tipped, endpapers toned yet the text block is solid and bright. Unopened. 12mo (10.5 x 17 cm). Dark blue publisher's blind embossed pebbled cloth. Gilt lettered spine. xxxi, 264 pp., Engraved emblem and 'twenty-ninth thousand' on title page. Engraved frontispiece portrait with tissue guard (toned). Beautifully engraved block capitols, head and tailpieces throughout. With a twenty-one page introduction by Charles Dickens.
Adelaide Anne Procter (London 1825-1864) wrote under the pseudonym Mary Berwick. With the exception of some early poems in Cornhill Magazine and Good Words, her first published work appeared in Household Words, or All the Year Round and was here discovered by its editor, Charles Dickens, who later identified the writing as that of the daughter of his friend and poet Barry Cornwall (Bryan Waller Procter). This volume of Legends and Lyrics contains her popular verse in its entirety, as noted in Dickens' introduction. Miss Proctor, if not a great poet, had a gift for verse, and expressed herself with distinction, charm and sincerity'. She borrowed little or nothing, and showed to best advantage in her narrative poems.'
An ardent feminist, Proctor was appointed by the council of the National Association for the Promotion of Social Science as a committee member to consider new alternatives of providing employment for women. In 1861 she edited "Victoria Regia"; a volume of verse and prose set up in type by women compositors. The proceeds from her volume of poems 'A Chaplet of Verse' helped fund a women's night refuge.
(DNB; Eckel 163-164.). Near Fine. Item #7079