London: John W. Parker, 1850.
First Edition. Hardcover. Near fine. Two volumes, viii, 293; viii, 279, in contemporary three-quarter leather and marbled boards, with gilt spine, red and black spine labels. Endpapers and all edges marbled. Leather scuffed, otherwise a very nice set, clean and sound. Bookplate of Arthur Dean on the front pastedown of each volume. Houstoun (1811-1892) was a successful British novelist as well as the author of several travel books and other works of nonfiction. Written as a series of letters, Hesperos recounts her journey from Liverpool to Halifax and from there through New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Washington, DC, westward to Pittsburgh and then to Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis, New Orleans, and Texas. "Always opinionated, Houstoun describes American women as ‘free’ in their public behaviour, and is particularly interested in the lives of the Irish in America and in the condition of enslaved blacks on the plantations which she visited in Louisiana and Mississippi" (DNB). Her account also offers vivid descriptions of local manners and customs, life of the steamboats, lodging conditions, etc. Eberstadt: "Contains much on Texas, including a residence in Galveston, trip to New Washington, Texas, visit to the prairies, etc." Howes H-692; Sabin 33200; Graff 1976; Hubach p. 111; Clark III: 329; Rader 1950.