London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees . . . 1815. Quadruple decker second edition of the anonymously published polemical novel. Affectionally referred to as the “brave-hearted lady” by Carlyle, the republication of this work in 2003 brought renewed, and deserved, attention to the long-neglected proto-feminist author. In his introduction to the 2003 edition, Professor Andrew Monnickendam notes this novel challenges commonly accepted beliefs about patriotism, gender, religion, and nationalism – noting the novel is subversive and does not shy away from controversy, an example being her referral to a military parade as a “rehearsal for murder.” While titled as a national novel, Monnickendam emphasizes the novel was “at odds with the whole concept of union and patriotism that dominates the fiction of Walter Scott . . .” Moreover, Johnstone avoids the tropes of delicate or weak women, Monnickendam stresses the strength of the female protagonist, and that the “women are more rational beings, preferring healing to fighting, humanism to patriotism, and reason to emotion.” This second edition was published in the same year as the first, corrected errors (though new errors and errata were added), and, perhaps ironically, added a dedication to Walter Scott.
8vo. , iv, 339pp.; , 310pp.; , 326pp.; , 326pp. Half titles in all volumes. Errata slips in vols. 2, 3, and 4. Not in Sadleir or Wolff. Garside Raven 1815:48. Good in publisher’s blue boards with paper spines with labels, marginal loss to a few pages not affecting text, some minor toning, spotting and offsetting throughout, vol. 1 spine repaired with tape, boards and spines rubbed with minor loss to head and foot. Nevertheless, a desirable set of the forgotten, but important work, in publisher’s original boards. Item #251