The Royal Captives: A Fragment of a Secret History Copied from an Old Manuscript. ANN YEARSLEY.

The Royal Captives: A Fragment of a Secret History Copied from an Old Manuscript.

Publisher: Philadelphia: Printed for Robert Campbell, 1795 [vols 1 & 2]; Philadelphia: Published by Thomas Bradford, 1796 [vol. 3].
Edition: One of two American editions of the first two volumes, priority not established; first American edition of the final volume.
Bibliographical References: Evans 29933 (vols 1 & 2); the Bradford final volume is not in Evans; ESTC records nine copies of vols 1 & 2 and three copies of the Bradford final volume (AAS, LCP and Mich).
Condition: The bindings are in relatively good condition; the text in vol. 1 is a little ragged, with clean tears in several leaves, and one tear in a margin affecting a few words of text (but not the sense); the text of vol. 2 is somewhat better; both volumes are moderately foxed and stained, with several gatherings sprung - but overall a decent, sound copy of a rare book.
Book ID: 22836


3 vols in 2 , 12mo, contemporary tree calf, red morocco labels, gilt rules and lettering. Four pages of publisher's terminal ads for in the third volume.


¶ A gothic thriller by the Blue stocking poet, better known as the “Bristol Milkmaid,” based on the popular French tale of the man in the iron mask. Yearsley (1753-1806) notes in her preface that she intentionally left the novel incomplete and implies that if the public demands it of her she will finish her tale; thus “Finis” is found at the end of vol. 2 in both the London and the American editions. A demand did exist, and vols 3 & 4 followed shortly the same year in London. The completion of the American edition was published in one volume in 1796 by Thomas Bradford, who had not been involved in either of the earlier Philadelphia editions. Bradford's final volume is rare, as indicated by the small number of copies recorded in ESTC. ¶ A well read copy, as evidenced by several contemporary ownership signatures on the front paste-downs.

Price: $900.00