Peter Harrington is holding an exhibition of its latest catalogue at 43 Dover Street, London W1S 4FF until Friday, 15th March. In Her Own Words: Works by Exceptional Women is the first catalogue focused solely on women by the UK's largest rare bookseller and has been compiled by Theodora Robinson and Emma Walshe. The catalogue contains some 180 remarkable rare books, manuscripts and ephemera, spanning the centuries from Sappho to Maya Angelou and has been created in recognition of the growth of interest in works by women. It includes items by pivotal figures such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Jane Austen, Marie Curie and Millicent Fawcett as well as seeking to highlight the work of lesser-known women who were instrumental in pushing legal, intellectual and physical boundaries: trail-blazing activists, mathematicians, economists, classicists, travellers, mountaineers and suffragettes.
Highlights include Virginia Woolf's first edition presentation copy of Jacob's Room inscribed by the author to her sister Vanessa Bell who designed the dust jacket (£75,000) and the first separate edition of the work containing what has been described as “the first computer programme” by Ada Lovelace, “the first computer programmer” (£200,000). But the selling exhibition also includes items for those with less deep pockets, including two striking portraits of the renowned African American contralto Marian Anderson from the 1940s (£750), a special issue of VOW: Voice of Women to commemorate International Women's Year in 1975 (£175) and a first edition, with a signed album leaf, of Amy Johnson's Sky Roads of the World, published two years before her disappearance on an Air Transport Auxiliary flight in 1941 (£200).