London: Saunders, Otley, and Co., 1865. First edition. Hardcover. 2 volumes in 1; small octavo, recent black morocco spine and corners and vintage marbled boards, xi, 291; xv, 280 pp., engraved frontispiece portrait of the author. New leather spine, corners, and endpapers, frontispiece foxed, scattered foxing to text, very good. Item #21817
Rare first edition of the first-person account of Confederate spy Isabella Maria (Belle) Boyd (1844-1900). For some reason treated dismissively by Wright Howes in his U.S.iana bibliography ("Autobiography of an adventuress and bogus Confederate heroine"), Boyd's lurid narrative is supported by the contemporary press's accounts of her activities, her numerous arrests, and at least 2 imprisonments. She married the Union naval officer (Sam Hardinge) who helped her escape to Canada and from there to England. The author lived in London from 1864-1869 and her book was published there first, a New York edition following close after. Howes H190.