Murder? Or Venereal Disease? Heartfree. [Bell (Sharpe), Anne (1738?-1760)]. A Most Cicumstantial Account of that Unfortunate Young Lady Miss Bell, Otherwise Sharpe, Who Died at Marybone on Saturday October 4. Containing a Series of Very Extraordinary Facts, Which Have Never Yet Transpired; Especially Her Remarkable Relation to Captain Thomas Holland, Of the Manner She Came by Her Wounds; To Whom (And to Whom Only) She Related all the Particulars of that Horrid Transaction. By Heartfree, Author of Two Letters on the Same Subject in the Gazetteer. London: Printed for J. Williams, 1760. [ii], 69,  pp. Octavo (8" x 5"). Disbound stab-stitched pamphlet. Moderate toning, light soiling and early (illegible) owner initials to title page, which is detached and slightly creased along left margin with three small holes (not affecting text), lower corner of final leaf folded slightly. $650. * First edition, one of seven from the same year. Little is definitively known about the life of Anne Bell, but it was, by all accounts, a tragic one. According to the present work, she ran away from her family at a young age and had a series of affairs with various men who took advantage of her youth and naivety. She was discovered by Holland, a family friend, who found her recuperating from stab wounds in a London boarding house. She had sustained the injuries in a fight with one of her paramours. When she died, her friends and family demanded that the man who had allegedly stabbed her be prosecuted. The coroner's inquest found that her true cause of death was venereal disease. The sordid tale reverberated through Grub Street. At least two other differing accounts were published in 1761 and 1762. OCLC locates 5 copies of this edition, 2 in North America (Huntington Library, University of Minnesota). English Short-Title Catalogue N35355.
Book number 73177