Lettres Persanes, Nouvelle Edition Augmentée d’un Sommaire à chaque Lettre & d’une Table. Tome Premier [-Second.] Cologne, Pierre Marteau, 1752.
New Edition. Two volumes in one, 12mo, (158 x 90mm), pp. [iv], 214, ; [iv], 238, , with a final table of contents to each part, title-pages in red and black, with charming vignettes, in contemporary quarter calf over yellow boards, slightly scuffed, spine brightly gilt in compartments with red and green morocco labels lettered and numbered in gilt, red edges, green silk marker.
An attractive copy of one of the dozens of reprints of Montesquieu’s seminal work, published under the same fictional Cologne imprint as the first edition of 1721. This edition includes the full 150 letters, as in the original printing, rather than the 140 included in Montesquieu’s expurgated version. Not originally intended as a novel, it spawned so many imitations in the form of novels (Lettres juives, Lettres chinoises, Lettres d’une Péruvienne etc) that even Montesquieu realised he had started a vogue: ‘My Lettres persanes taught people to write letter-novels’ (Montesquieu’s Mes Pensées: no. 1621).
OCLC lists several copies in Europe and Israel, Montreal and UCLA.
MMF 52.R37; En Français dans le texte, no. 138.