New York: Stringer and Townsend, 1855. Hardcover. 388p., [xxxii] first edition, publisher's catalog bound in rear, two pages pulled and partly detached but present, previous owner's period stamp on title page, library bookplate on front pastedown (no other markings), minor foxing, original cloth binding with minor fraying at head and tail of spine, corners slightly bumped, front and rear panel unevenly faded.
Nichols (1810-84) was a noted early women's rights advocate and health reformer who opposed masturbation, favored vegetarianism, alternative medicine, dress reform, free love, and Fourierist socialism, and operated water cure (hydropathy) facilities at a number of sites in New York and Ohio with her husband, Thomas Low Nichols. Nichols was a regular contributor to The Phalanx, Fourier's periodical in the early 1840s, and collaborated with her husband on Nichols Monthly, an 1850s journal on spiritualism, hydropathy, and individual liberty. The pair joined the utopian community Modern Times Colony in 1851, where free love was practiced, and founded the Memnonia Institute in 1856 in Yellow Springs, Ohio near Antioch College, the site of a water cure facility, training in Fourierist phalanxes, and seances. Their presence in the area was condemned by Antioch president Horace Mann. The Nichols's radical activity ended with their conversion to Catholicism in 1857.