London, Paris, NY: [privately printed by H. L. Williams], 1868. First Edition, 2nd issue (with the facsimile of Dickens' letter of 21st October 1867 on verso of Dedication leaf). 8vo, pp. 141. Half title, portrait frontispiece, facsimilie of an original note by Charles Dickens, accepting the author's dedication of this book. Rebound in 3/4 morocco and marble boards, nicely tooled spine, original covers tipped in to the end papers. AEG, Later presentation on the end paper, a very good clean copy. Not in Eckel, Gimbel B295 Scarce. Item #59753
New Orleans born, Ms. Menken (1839?-1868) became a successful actress and migrated to Europe where she became an intimate of Dickens (the dedicatee of this book) Charles Reade, Swinburne, Dumas, etc. Menken's notorious love life insured her attraction on the stage. Known as the "naked lady" for her role in Mazeppa, she was an international star. Although her parentage remainsin doubt, she was probably the daughter of Auguste Theodore, a muatto registered as a "free man of color." [See Collected Black Women's Poetry, edited by Joan Sherman). This collection issued 8 days after her death, prints periodical appearances issued during her life.