EVERY AGE AND COUNTRY.
By MATILDA BETHAM.
PRINTED FOR B. CROSBY AND CO., STATIONERS' COURT, LUDGATE-HILL;
TEGG AND CASTLEMAN, WARWICK-LANE; AND E. LLOYD,
PRINTED BY BETHAM AND WARDE,
- FURNIVAL'S-INN COURT, HOLBORN.
Some years since I began to collect the materials, from which the following work is composed, not according to any predetermined plan of compilation, nor even with a serious design of presenting them to the public. But my collection was increased, as my reading was extended; and I was induced to believe, that a General Dictionary of Women, who had been distinguished by their actions or talents, in various nations, or at different periods of the world, digested under an alphabetical arrangement, which had never been done in our language, might meet with a favourable reception.
Under this impression, I put forth, in the year 1801, proposals for publishing my projected work, in four volumes, octavo. But this intention had not been long announced, before advertisements appeared of another work being in the press, under a similar title. Not meaning to run a race with any other author, I desisted for a while from my undertaking. But when, upon the publication of that work, I found it to be rather a selection of historical extracts, than a digested compilation of Female Biography, which it had been, and is now, my object to produce; I resumed my original idea of publishing, although upon a more contracted scale than I had before designed.
The book, which now, with much diffidence, I submit to the public judgement, must have many claims on their indulgence; most, in those parts, certainly, where I have hazarded original criticism, or observation. For the rest, authenticity, and impartiality, have been my aim throughout, conceiving those principles to be of more consequence in a work of this kind, than ornamental writing.
I have had communications and assistance from several friends, and have made liberal use of the aid afforded me in Le Dictionnaire des Femmes Célébres: which, however, I had never seen till after the greatest part of my own materials was collected; and, in all such cases, I have, to avoid repetition, marked the articles with the initials F. C. only. To other quotations I have noted the authority more at length.
- In one instance alone, I undesignedly extended the article to an undue length.