Kleine Andachten für Segenhaus.
8vo (125 x 205 x 50 mm). Autogr. ms. on paper, with Elizabeth's silverstamped crowned initials on every other leaf. 3 ff., 400 pp., 4 ff. Splendid contemporary ochre velveteen binding with nine metal fittings, seven bosses and two clasps, studded with a total of 20 facetted garnets and 9 freshwater pearls. Brown moirée silk endpapers; pastedowns framed with a wide border of dark green giltstamped calf. Silver edges, goffered.
Elisabeth I of Romania, chiefly known under her pen name "Carmen Sylva", probably composed these devotional texts during a protracted stay in Italy and with her mother in Segenhaus (Neuwied, Rhineland-Palatinate) during the years 1882/83. The 21 devotions were first published in 1888 in Romanian (as "Cuvinte Sufletesti", "Words of the Soul"); a German edition appeared in Bonn in 1900 as "Seelengespräche". The Queen drew up this present fair copy specially for her mother and dedicated it to her, bound in a luxury binding, for her 59th birthday: "Meiner Mutter, meinem Religionslehrer und Vorbild auf dem Erdengange" ("To my mother, my religious instructor and role model throughout my life", f. 2).
Velvet binding shows signs of age in places, but is only very slightly rubbed. Silver edges are oxydized; wants a headband. The paper is unstained and immaculately white.
Cf. Silvia I. Zimmermann: Die dichtende Königin. Selbstmythisierung und prodynastische Öffentlichkeitsarbeit durch Literatur (Stuttgart 2010). For the first printing: Schmidt 459.