Hypatia: or, New Foes with an Old Face
London: John W. Parker and Son, 1853. Two volumes, 8vo. xxiv, 323; iv, 377, 6 [ads]. Publisher's brown grained cloth, ruled in blind on sides, gilt-lettered on spine; in a somewhat worn folding case. Provenance: Mrs. J. Insley Blair (Blairhame bookplate; sale Sotheby's New York, 3 December 2004, lot 184). Some uneven toning to the cloth, light wear at extremities, generally a handsome copy. Item #409978
First edition in book form. Considered one of Kingsley's finest novels, and among his most widely read, Hypatia is the fictionalized account of the life of the eponymous philosopher – a 19th century religious apologia following the young monk Philammon's travels to Alexandria. Hypatia was originally serialized in 1852 in Fraser's Magazine from January 1852 to April 1853, and it was then published in book form in 1853. It is said to have been Queen Victoria's favorite novel by Kingsley, but modern criticism has attacked its anti-Catholicism and anti-Semitism while conceding that "Hypatia stands as an excellent example of fiction written for a specific purpose, as well as an impeccably researched novel that remains true to history."