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[RUSSELL, Lord John, 1st Earl Russell]. The Nun Of Arrouca : a tale. , London, John Murray 1822.

First Edition, modern quarter morocco lettered in gilt, brown cloth sides. Sm.8vo, pp[2] half-title + [2] title + 87, couple of neat booklabels on endpaper, an excellent copy. Rare early novel by the youthful Lord John Russell, later grandfather to the philosopher Bertrand Russell. A radical liberal, Lord John Russell twice headed the British government as a major reforming Prime Minister. In his youth he had several times visited Portugal, where he met Wellington; and had also travelled to Elba to meet Napoleon. In this late-Gothic romantic novella Edward Pembroke, a young English officer serving in the Peninsular War, is wounded while heroically rescuing the nuns of a Portuguese convent from the inevitable depredations of a French squadron. He is nursed to health by one of the nuns, Catherine. They fall passionately in love : she determines to forsake her orders : divine punishment is, naturally enough, meted out when she rapidly succumbs to consumption. According to Summers : Gothic Bibliography : 'Very shortly after publication, the author determinedly suppressed the book, buying up every copy at whatsoever price and destroying it'. See also Block : English Novel. No copy listed in Cambridge University Library, Bodleian Library, or the National Union Catalogue. (Book ref. 9138)  £400.00

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