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Duncan, Mrs. Florence I.)

Ye Last Sweet Thing in Corners.


An Eccentric Send-Up Of Americans, Art, & Art Critics
By A Little Known American Woman
[Duncan, Mrs. Florence I.]. Ye Last Sweet Thing in Corners Being Ye Faithful Drama of Ye Artists' Vendetta. Philadelphia: Duncan & Hall, Publishers, [1880].
8vo.; laid paper, partially unopened; preliminaries lightly darkened; else interior fresh and bright; black endpapers; previous female owner's name and address on first blank, occasional marginal penciled notes throughout, not affecting text; green pebbled cloth, stamped in gilt; light wear to extremities.
First edition, possibly self-published by one of the many 19th-century women of means who wrote primarily as a hobby and published only when the mood struck them. The author's choice of anonymity and her obscure background are practically begging for exposure by a student of 19th-century American women's literature, who can perhaps unearth more clues to this drama within a drama. A search of standard reference material turns up nothing save her name and her earlier novel, My Intimate Friend: A Novel (1878).
This light comedy about two American girls (and their "colored" servants) discovering the cultures of the Continent (Europe), especially art and the classics, is a send-up of American provincialism, replete with regional dialogue. Dedicated to a Lord with whom the author was apparently friendly, it seems to have been written as a Christmas gift.

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