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DAVIES, Christian (1667--1739)
The life and adventures of Mrs. Christian Davies, commonly call'd Mother Ross; who, in several campaigns under King William and the late Duke of Marlborough, in the quality of a foot-soldier and dragoon, gave many signal proofs of an unparallell'd courage and personal bravery. Taken from her own mouth when a pensioner of Chelsea-Hospital, and known to be true by many who were engaged in those great scenes of action.
London: printed and sold by R. Montagu, 1740.
iv, 87, [1], 104, [16] p. ; 18.2 cm. (8º)

Anonymous. Sometimes attributed to Defoe, but this is not accepted as his by Moore (see J.R. Moore, A checklist of the writings of Daniel Defoe, 2nd ed., 1971). Although the broad details of the life of the female soldier Christian Davies née Cavenaugh are historically attested, some of the picaresque events narrated in the Life are probably embellished or fabricated. Born in Co. Wicklow, Ireland, she enlisted as a soldier in 1693 to search for her first husband Richard Welsh who was then reported to be with the army in Flanders. Returning to Dublin after the treaty of Ryswick in 1697, she re-enlisted with the renewal of hostilities in 1701 and was reunited with her husband after Blenheim in 1704. Her identity was discovered in 1706 and she remained with the army as a sutler until returning to England in 1712, where the Queen awarded her a pension. Four editions of this biographical history appeared between 1740 and 1743, and a third-person abridgement by 'J. Wilson, formerly a Surgeon in the Army' in 1742. The present edition is in two parts, each with separate pagination and register. With an index, and final leaf of publisher's advertisements. ESTC t134671.

Copy Notes Bound as part of a uniformly bound 48-volume set of works by or attributed to Defoe which on the evidence of endleaves variously watermarked '1814', '1808', etc. was presumably assembled around 1810--15.

Binding C19th half calf, marbled-paper boards, gilt-tooled spine direct-lettered in gilt 'Defoe's Works' and 'Mrs Christian Davies'.

Reference Number 772


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