- Tag = Continental Books
La Famille Vertueuse.
Lettres traduites de l’Anglais. Par M. de la Bretone. Première [-Quatrième] Partie.
Paris, la veuve Duchesne, 1767.
First Edition. Four volumes, 12mo in eights and fours, (162 x 90mm), pp. xxxvi, 251; [iv], -288 (A7 and D1-4 misbound); [iv], -300; [iv], -299,  table, the title pages within the usual ornamental borders, tear III 109-112, touching text but with no loss, repaired, in contemporary sheep-backed green boards, brown and black morocco labels lettered and numbered in gilt, simply gilt rules to the foot of the spines, red edges.
The first edition of Restif’s first published work, an epistolary novel in four volumes. It is not a translation from the English, as claimed on… (more)
The first edition of Restif’s first published work, an epistolary novel in four volumes. It is not a translation from the English, as claimed on the title-page in fashionable style, but is an original work about an aristocratic family and their adventures in France and England. It is printed by Quilleau, for whom Restif worked as a proof-reader and compositor, and is the first of several novels that Restif managed to get printed during his time there. It made him a profit of 765 livres and it was on the strength of this that he left the printing house and started writing professionally.
The Epître (pp. v-xiv) is addressed ‘Aus [sic] Jeunes Beautés’ and is followed by a prefatory ‘Lettre de Mistress Eleanor à Miss Bridget’ (xv-xxxvi) in which Eleanor explains how she came by the letters. Travelling between Kent and Hampton Court, her father was set upon by some vagabonds and would have perished but for the intervention of Lord B*. As usually follows in these situations, Eleanor’s simple delight at her father’s safety delighted Lord B* who suggests that she become a companion for his daughter, Miss Cecily. Cecily is a descendant of the comte de Lisse, one of the main protagonists in the unhappy story that follows and Cecily, enraptured by her new friend, gives her all the letters with a view to her arranging and publishing them.
The title pages are set within the typical Restif ornamental printed borders. Rives Childs (197-198) states that 2000 copies were printed - an impressive number for a first work and a sure sign of Restif’s involvement in the printing process - nonetheless the novel is now hard to come by and is comparatively scarce.
OCLC lists Lyon, BL, Cambridge, Leeds; McGill, Bancroft, Chicago, Harvard, Walters Art Museum, Princeton and Yale.
Cioranescu 52652; MMF 67.43; Gay II 231-232; Rives Childs 197-198.More details Price: £1,800.00
La Marquise de Ben***.
Tome Premier [-Second].
Spa & Paris, Buisson, 1788.
First Edition. Two volumes, 12mo (183 x 105 mm), pp. [iv], 234; [iv], 242, second volume a little dampstained with spotting throughout, both volumes uncut in the original orange paste-paper wrappers, paper shelf mark labels on spines, lettered in ink on the upper covers.
A lovely, unsophisticated copy of a scarce novel, appearing here for the first time and later published under the titles Les Effets de la prévention… (more)
A lovely, unsophisticated copy of a scarce novel, appearing here for the first time and later published under the titles Les Effets de la prévention ou la marquise de Ben***, 1788 and Les infortunes de la marquise de Ben***, 1789. Partially epistolary, with some first person digressions, a considerable part of the novel is set in England.
Abandoned by a young wife who, shortly after their marriage, was sent to a convent by her family, Bette d’Etienville abandoned his career as a provincial surgeon and went to Paris. Here he devoted himself to writing but found himself instead at the centre of many of the frauds and scandals of the capital. Most famously, he was involved in the notorious affaire du collier de la reine; he fled Paris when discovery was inevitable but he was caught and brought to trial. He survived the ordeal and lived to take an active part in the revolution, afterwards becoming a successful figure in the banking world. This is the first of his many novels. His other works include various defences of his conduct, a revolutionary philosophical work, La philanthropie, 1790 and a number of works on banking and law.
Worldcat lists BN, Bodleian, Cambridge, Penn and Vanderbilt only.
Cioranescu 11751; MMF 88.32; Gay III, 70.More details Price: £750.00
La Paysanne Parvenue,
ou les Mémoires de Madame la Marquise de L.V. Par M. le Chevalier de Mouhy. Tome Premier [-Quatriéme].
Amsterdam, aux dépens de la Compagnie, 1757.
Four volumes (twelve parts) in two, 12mo, (160 x 95 mm), pp. [ii], 8, 240; [ii], 3-4, 206; [ii], 222; [ii], 260, title pages printed in red and black, considerable dampstaining in text, in contemporary mottled calf, spines gilt in compartments with red morocco labels lettered in gilt and brown labels numbered in gilt, marbled endpapers, extremities bumped, wormholes on the front board of the second volume, from the library of Claude Lebédel.
A scarce edition of Mouhy’s popular novel, first published in 1735. Written in conscious imitation of Marivaux’ Paysan Parvenu, 1735-1736, Mouhy rushed his own novel… (more)
A scarce edition of Mouhy’s popular novel, first published in 1735. Written in conscious imitation of Marivaux’ Paysan Parvenu, 1735-1736, Mouhy rushed his own novel out, launching the first volumes on the market as early as July 1735, with the other volumes following in quick succession. Mouhy’s novel enjoyed considerable popularity and was republished for many years. It saw two English translations, an anonymous version, The fortunate country maid. Being the entertaining memoirs of the present celebrated Marchioness of L.V. Who from a Cottage, through a great Variety of Diverting Adventures, became a Lady of the first Quality in the Court of France, by her steady Adherence to the Principles of Virtue and Honour. Wherein are display’d The Various and Vile Artifices employ’d by Men of Intrigue, for seducing of Young Women; with suitable Reflections..... From the French of the Chevalier de Mouhy, London 1740, which was hugely popular with editions published throughout the second half of the century and Eliza Haywood’s less successful translation, The virtuous villager, or virgin’s victory being the memoirs of a very great lady at the court of France, written by herself, London, printed for Eliza Haywood, 1742.
Martin, Mylne & Frautschi, Bibliographie du genre romanesque français 1751-1800, 57.R38; see also Jones p. 56; Cioranescu 47515 (7 parts) and 47516 (Amsterdam, 12 parts).
OCLC lists the BN and two copies in Slovenia.More details Price: £200.00
La Saxe Galante.
Ou Histoire des Amours d’Auguste I. Roi de Pologne.
Amsterdam, aux dépens de la Compagnie, 1736.
Third Edition. 12mo (146 x 88 mm), pp. [ii], 416, title page printed in red, first and final leaves a little dampstained, binding internally sprung but externally sound, in later vellum, marbled endpapers, spine simply ruled and lettered in gilt, with the ownership inscription ‘A. de Meslon’ (?).
A scarce early edition of one of the cheekiest plagiarisms of the eighteenth century. Frequently reprinted, this chronique scandaleuse claims to contain true details of… (more)
A scarce early edition of one of the cheekiest plagiarisms of the eighteenth century. Frequently reprinted, this chronique scandaleuse claims to contain true details of the love life of the King of Poland, Augustus of Saxony, known as ‘the German Casanova’ and said to have fathered some 400 illegitimate children.
‘Cet ouvrage du baron de Poellnitz est un plagiat des plus audacieux. - Ce n'est autre chose que le charmant roman de la Princesse de Clèves de Mme de La Fayette, que le baron de Poellnitz a mis sous son nom, en changeant tout simplement les noms des personnages et le lieu de l'action. Quant aux phrases et au style, on n’a même pas pris la peine de les déguiser’ (Gay III, p. 1028-1079). Gay goes on to say that according to Paulmy this ‘roman très agréable et très amusant’ was the ‘fruit of the youth’ of the chevalier de Solignac, who was witness to most of the adventures recounted in it. It was translated into German as Das Galante Sachsen, Frankfurt, 1739.
See Jones p. 54; Cioranescu 50714; Gay III, 1078-1079; MMF 63.R.37.
Not in OCLC, which lists an ebook, linked to a digital version of the Harvard copy.More details Price: £200.00
La Vie de Laurent de Medicis,
surnommé le Grand, et le Père des Lettres, Chef de la Republique de Florence; Adressée au Pape Léon X: Traduite du Latin de Nicolas Valori, son Contemporain. Avec des Notes, & quelques Piéces anciennes qui ont rapport au même sujet.
Paris, Nyon, 1761.
First Edition in French. 12mo, pp. xxiv, 346, , small marginal hole on p. 65, in contemporary northern European mottled calf, flat spine gilt in continuous diced pattern, orange morocco label lettered in gilt, brightly patterned black and white endpapers, all edges red, from the Starhenberg library at Schloss Eferding, though not so designated.
The first French translation of the first biography of Lorenzo 'The Magnificent' (circa 1449-1492), great patron of the arts, poet, collector and founder of the… (more)
The first French translation of the first biography of Lorenzo 'The Magnificent' (circa 1449-1492), great patron of the arts, poet, collector and founder of the great Laurentian Library. This biography, originally written in Latin by Nicolas Valori, is addressed to Pope Leo X, the son of Lorenzo de Medici. It was Leo X who, after the family's expulsion from Florence, later bought the Laurentian Library back from the monks of S. Marco and continued to enlarge it in Rome.
Provenance: Prince Starhenberg, Austrian Ambassador to Versailles 1756-1766. During his stay in France he amassed a considerable library, mostly bound in this distinctive style and surviving in very good condition today. He married a Princess de Salm, a german cousin of the Princesse de Soubisme, wife of the great book collector and friend of Louis XV.
Cioranescu 31682.More details Price: £300.00
La Vita di Pietro Aretino
scritta dal conte Giammaria Mazzuchelli Bresciano.
Padua, Comino, 1741
First Edition. 8vo, engraved portrait frontispiece and pp. viii, 303,  colophon,  advertisements, in contemporary glazed cream paper boards, darker labels on spine lettered in gilt.
First edition of Mazzuchelli’s biography of the infamous poet, Pietro Aretino (1492-1556), known as the ‘scourge of princes’. Aretino’s satirical sonnets and burlesques were so… (more)
First edition of Mazzuchelli’s biography of the infamous poet, Pietro Aretino (1492-1556), known as the ‘scourge of princes’. Aretino’s satirical sonnets and burlesques were so feared by the nobles and princes of his day that they appear to have handed out large sums of money to buy his silence. This so-called patronage funded a notoriously profligate lifestyle and his home in Venice (where he went having been banished from his home town of Arezzo on the publication of his sonnet against indulgences) became the scene of continuous revelling and orgies.
The preface (pp. iii-viii) is supplied by A.F. Seghezzi. Giuseppe Bartoli’s letter to Mazzuchelli on the subject of the present work, praising the latter for his ‘erudizione si ammirabile’, is also included (pp. 263-267). The text is also accompanied by extensive bibliographical footnotes and a thirty-one page index.
Brunet III, 1563.More details Price: £500.00
Le Bachelier de Salamanque,
ou les Memoires de D. Cherubin de la Ronda, tirés d'un Manuscrit Espagnol, par Monsieur Le Sage.
Paris, Valleyre, 1736.
First Edition. 12mo, (155 x 84mm), pp. [viii], 378, , with three engraved plates, one to accompany each section, outer corner of text dampstained in the last few leaves and some light browning to the prelims, in contemporary or slightly later free-style tree calf with an attractive simple gilt border on the covers, the spine stained green, gilt in compartments with gilt lettering, marbled endpapers, Chiswick bookplate.
A handsome copy of the first part, containing the first three books, of one of the most popular picaresque novels of the French eighteenth century.… (more)
A handsome copy of the first part, containing the first three books, of one of the most popular picaresque novels of the French eighteenth century. Although it is stated on p. 378, ‘Fin du troisième & dernier Livre’, a second volume appeared two years later, containing books four to six (La Haye, Pierre Gosse, 1738).
Although not in quite the same league as his Gil Blas, Le Sage's Bachelier de Salamanque shares many of the same features, from the successful formula of the hero's many adventures loosely bound together to the enduringly popular Spanish theme common to many of Le Sage's novels. There were numerous editions throughout the century and beyond.
'He was a writer for his time, an artisan of letters, and a supporter of the modernes in the Quérelle. He wrote for a broad public, and Gil Blas in particular was much appreciated by readers of many countries for two centuries. Critics have sometimes viewed him rather more patronisingly, condemning the diffuse nature of his narratives and the banality or superficiality of his morality and his psychology. Yet he is in many ways a fascinating witness of his period. His writing is sharp and up to date, he has a gift for the dramatic scene and a keen eye for the masks and pretences of a corrupt society. While reusing old literary material, he nevertheless gives us a strong sense of life in a real, unidealized world' (Peter France in the New Oxford Companion to Literature in French).
Jones p. 59; Cioranescu 39528 (giving p. 383); Cohen-de Ricci c. 635; Tchemerzine VII, 206.More details Price: £250.00
Avec le Passe-Tems des Mousquetaires, ou le Tems Perdu. Par M.D.B**.
The Hague, 1760.
[bound after:] MASSAC, Pierre-Louis-Raymond de (1728-1770).
Les Amusemens des Gens d’Esprit. A Amsterdam, chez Arkstée & Merkus. 1756.
Second Editions. Two works in one volume, 12mo (164 x 90 mm), Massac: pp. xii, 268; Mailhol & Des Biefs: pp. [iv], -158, some pages considerably browned, in contemporary mottled calf, spine gilt in compartments, red morocco spine lettered in gilt, with the later bookplate of Mr. le Vicomte Emile de Guizelin.
The second edition of a scarce libertine novel by Gabriel Mailhol, first published in 1755 when the vogue for the new open carriage was the… (more)
The second edition of a scarce libertine novel by Gabriel Mailhol, first published in 1755 when the vogue for the new open carriage was the theme of several novels. Told in the first person, the novel tells of young Nina’s sentimental education, starting with her first encounter with a young man at a dance. Her parents having died when she was six, her guardian, Madame Daronvile, enlightens her about the facts of love, telling her that from this moment all men become her potential lovers and all women her enemies. Using thinly veiled language about her colourful and much desired cabriolet, Nina relates her adventures as she lends her cabriolet during the night to the young man of the dance, Dorincour, and then during the day to a financier, Olimpidore, where she drives with him to Cythère, his house in the country. This is a very scarce novel, with no earlier editions listed in OCLC.
Reprinted as a companion text to Mailhol’s Le Cabriolet is Louis Desbief’s Le Passe-Tems des mousquetaires, ou le tems perdu, first published circa 1755. Originally consisting of fifty licentious verse contes by Desbiefs followed by a collection of epigrams by various authors, the present edition contains sixty verse contes but does not contain the lengthy section of epigrams by other authors. There were two undated editions of the original work, with slightly different titles (the other being subtitled ‘ou les Loisirs bien Employés’ in place of ‘ou le temps perdu’) both dated by Cioranescu as 1755. The work was reprinted by Gay in 1866. Cioranescu gives priority to the Berg-op-Zoom (Frankfurt) edition, a priority born out by the preface, in which the author discusses his title. The first part of the title was suggested by the indulgence of ‘some of those gentlemen’, ie musketeers, and ‘Le Tems Perdu’ was even more appropriate, he suggests, as he has lost his time in making the book and others - perhaps the whole of France, he wishes - will lose theirs in reading it.
‘Ce recueil est de Louis Desbiefs, avoué, né Dole en 1733, mort en 1760. Les contes, la plupart très licencieux, facilement mais lâchement écrits, sont de Desbiefs’ (Viollet-Leduc, quoted in Gay).
Bound at the head of the volume is the scarce first edition of a book of philosophical musings by the lawyer and bee-keeper, Pierre-Louis-Raymond de Massac. Massac’s first work, Les Amusemens des gens d’esprit is divided into fifty chapters, covering a wide range of subjects including books, marriage, women, love, flattery, the English, luxury, agriculture and philosophy.
Mailhol: OCLC lists BN, BL, Wurttembergische Landesbibliothek, Princeton & Chicago. No copies of earlier editions of Le Cabriolet in OCLC; Des Biefs 1755 edition held at Koninklijke Bibliotheek and Universitätsbibliothek München.
See MMF 55.29; Cioranescu 41349; for Des Biefs see Cioranescu 23092-23093; Gay II 661-662;
Massac: OCLC lists Cambridge, Bodliean, Dresden and Chicago only. Cioranescu 43457.More details Price: £3,000.00
Le Cochon Mitré;
Manuscript in Ink. 8vo (135 x 95mm), pp. 32, neat calligraphic manuscript on vellum, with pen and ink frontispiece of a pig in a bishop’s mitre, text in black and red, all pages ruled in red and blue with characters and initials in red, decorative floral title-page vignette, head and tail-pieces and decorative initial at the start of the text, with catchwords and signatures throughout, bound in eighteenth century green goatskin, decorated double filet to covers enclosing an elaborate border of flowers and dots, flat spine with similar decoration, ruled into compartments and with red morocco label lettered in gilt, with yellow moire endpapers and simply ruled gilt dentelles, gilt edges, some wear to binding and lower joint slightly cracking, a small scuff on the front cover and the extremities rubbed.
A delightful manuscript copy of this infamous late seventeenth century diatribe against high-ranking members of the clergy first published in 1684 and immediately condemned by… (more)
A delightful manuscript copy of this infamous late seventeenth century diatribe against high-ranking members of the clergy first published in 1684 and immediately condemned by the authorities, put on the Index and, as many copies as could be found, destroyed. Written on vellum in an astonishingly neat, quasi-typographical hand, in roman and italic, this manuscript has been prepared as a close imitation of a printed text. Written in black ink with red ink used for the characters and first initials of each section, ruled in blue and red, it includes catchwords and signatures throughout, just as in the original. The frontispiece is a delightful pen and ink drawing of a pig in a bishop’s mitre, also a close copy of the printed version.
Set in hell and written as a dramatic dialogue between Scarron and the Abbé Furetière, this is a satire against some of the most influential members of the French court and Church hierarchy, notably François Michel Le Tellier, Marquis of Louvois, who was secretary of State for War under Louis XIV, who later exacted revenge on the author by having him extradited and imprisoned. The title refers specifically to Louvois’ brother, Charles Maurice Le Tellier (1642-1710), Archbishop of Rheims and the text deals at length and in lurid detail with the latter’s supposed affairs, notably with Madame de Créqui. François de Harlay, Archbishop of Rouen and later Paris, also comes in for harsh treatment: ‘un Bouc n’a pas plus de poils, que ce Prélat a de Maîtresses’.
Although published anonymously, this vehement satire against the church is generally assumed to have been the work of François Chavigny de la Bretonnière, a defrocked Benedictine monk who was expelled from the Order after publishing attacks on Louis XIV and the Académie Française. Pursued by the authorities, he escaped to Holland, where the present work was published. He was later extradited by Louvois and was imprisoned, first in the Bastille, and later in Mont Saint-Michel, where he is said to have spent his final years confined in a wooden cage without heat or light.
‘Diatribe violente contre les moeurs sans frein des prélats français. Si de toutes ces anecdotes scandaleuses, un quart seul est vrai, c’est encore trop pour l’honneur de la robe rouge ou violette. Toutes vérités ne sont pas bonne à écrire, surtout quand elles sont si sales’ (Bibliothèque Clérico-Galante, p. 49).
Cioranescu 110953; Bibliothèque Clérico-Galante, p.48.More details Price: £6,500.00
Le Delizie della vita assicurate.
Venice, Negri, 1801.
First Edition. 8vo (200 x 130 mm), pp. -58, engraved title vignette and four unnumbered engraved plates by Francesco Novelli, without the preliminary or final blanks, in contemporary straight-grained red morocco, covers gilt with thickly tooled border, with ornate corner pieces of floral design, spine gilt with the same roll tool, unlettered, the front board lettered in gilt ‘A.S.E. Il Sig. Marchese Lorenzo Romagnoli’.
A delightful copy of this scarce manual detailing the way to happiness, for the disengaged and bored aristocrat: ‘I am young, healthy, learned, noble, wealthy,… (more)
A delightful copy of this scarce manual detailing the way to happiness, for the disengaged and bored aristocrat: ‘I am young, healthy, learned, noble, wealthy, honoured, well-liked, welcome at any occasion, respected, wooed, loved by everyone; still (would you believe it?) I am not satisfied with this, nor was I ever.’ With four elegant plates by Francesco Novelli (1764-1836), the first one picturing the delights of family life: the father talks to his daughter, the mother watches the two younger children playing with a hobby horse while the older child, a youth, reads in the background and a servant hovers in the background. The other three engravings show the happy gentleman in three aspects: firstly as philosopher, sitting in his library with a background of books and a globe, secondly as the thinker in nature, sitting on a tree trunk - how precious is serious thought - and finally as almsgiver, sitting in the portico of a church, under a statue of Our Lady, presenting alms to poor ladies with one hand and giving a shirt to a beggar with the other.
This copy, bound in an exquisite northern Italian style, was presented to the Marquis Lorenzo III Romagnoli (1762-c.1827), residing in Forlì.
Worldcat lists NYPL, Yale, Harvard and Art Institute of Chicago.More details Price: £2,000.00
Le Guerrier Philosophe;
ou Memoires de M. le Duc de. Contenant des reflexions sur divers Caracteres de l’Amour, & quelques Anecdotes curieuses de la derniere Guerre des Francois en Italie.
First Edition. Two volumes in one, (168 x 95 mm), pp. [iv], xxii, 324; [iv], 535, ie. 335,  errata, tear from second half-title with loss of corner to margin but not touching text, in contemporary blonde polished calf, spine gilt in compartments, red morocco label lettered in gilt, with an unknown heraldic bookplate, red edges and marbled endpapers.
A delightful copy of a scarce novel by the Marseilles born playwright, Jean-Baptiste Jourdan, author of numerous plays and several translations and supposed memoirs. Presented… (more)
A delightful copy of a scarce novel by the Marseilles born playwright, Jean-Baptiste Jourdan, author of numerous plays and several translations and supposed memoirs. Presented in the form of a military memoir, the novel is a highly digressive and entertaining work, containing anecdotes on romantic liaisons, tales of derring-do in the army and fictitious accounts of an officer’s life on the battlefield. With a long preface in which Jourdan discusses the history and uses of the novel with reference to Plutarch, ‘Servantés’, Scarron and the elegant translation into French of Joseph Andrews.
Jourdan’s most successful work was L’Ecole des Prudes, which was performed at the Italian Theatre in 1750. Another edition of the present novel was published in 1744, in Amsterdam ‘aux dépens de la Compagnie’.
OCLC lists Gottingen and Mecklenburg only.
Cioranescu 34737; Jones p. 85.More details Price: £1,200.00
Le Miroir de l'enfance
et de la jeunesse, ou Conversations amusantes et instructives d’une bonne Mère avec ses Enfans, pour les disposer de bonne heure à la pratique des vertus les plus utiles à la société, etc. Nouvelle imitation libre de l’Anglais, de Madame Trimmer. Suivies de fictions ingénieuses et morales propres à former le coeur et l’esprit de la Jeunesse. Ouvrage également utile aux Pères et aux Mères que président eux-mêmes à l’éducation de leurs enfans.
Paris, Bertin, 1804.
First Edition. 12mo (167 x 88 mm), engraved frontispiece and pp. [iv], iv, 13-181, , outer leaves slightly browned, in contemporary English half red morocco over marbled boards, flat spine simply ruled and lettered in gilt, with the contemporary armorial bookplate of Edward Taylor.
A delighful selection of instructive stories - ‘un petit recueil instructif’ - for children. The first part, a series of conversations between a mother and… (more)
A delighful selection of instructive stories - ‘un petit recueil instructif’ - for children. The first part, a series of conversations between a mother and her daughters, ‘La bonne Mère et ses deux Enfans’, is ‘loosely imitated’ from an original text by Mrs Trimmer: ‘une imitation libre, très-soignée et nouvelle’. It includes numerous conversations about animals, birds and stories intended to inculcate kindness and integrity in the young. This is followed by ‘Mélanges amusans et moraux’ (pp. 89-181) with such stories as ‘L’Enfant indocile’, and ‘L’Écu mal placé, ou la Promenade aux Tuileries, Fragment Sentimental’, a tribute to Laurence Sterne beginning ‘Bon et sensible Sterne’. The final part is a short dramatic piece entitled ‘L’Épreuve Sentimentale’ which sets the scene: ‘M. Dupré lit les papiers publics; Mlle Bury travaille à côté d’une table sur laquelle Agathe et Benjamin tracent en s’amusant des figures de géométrie avec du crayon blanc’.
Worldcat lists BN and one copy in Poland only.More details Price: £500.00
Le monde, son Origine, et son Antiquité. [-De l’Ame et de son Immortalité - Essai sur la Chronologie.]
Première [Seconde] Partie.
First Edition. Three parts in one volume, 12mo, (168 x 100mm), pp. xii, 244; [iv], 172; 72, some leaves in the final part dust-soiled along the lower edge, prior to binding, in contemporary polished calf, triple filet to covers, flat spine continuously gilt with brown morocco label lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers, gilt edges, with the decorative engraved bookplate of the ‘Bibliothèque de Henri Tardivi’.
A handsome copy of this scarce materialist diatribe in three parts by three different authors. The first part, Le Monde, son Origine et son Antiquité… (more)
A handsome copy of this scarce materialist diatribe in three parts by three different authors. The first part, Le Monde, son Origine et son Antiquité is by Jean-Frédéric Bernard, an exiled French Protestant who set up as an editor and bookseller in the Netherlands, where he published a number of books on different subjects. The second part, which has its own separate title page, is in two sections, firstly De L’Ame, et de son Immortalité, also dated Londres, 1751, which is by Jean-Baptiste de Mirabaud. Concluding the volume is Essai sur la Chronologie by Jean-Baptiste Le Mascrier, which has its own register and drop-head title.
‘L’entreprise de Mirabaud parait d’une cohérence exemplaire, par sa méthode et par la fin systématique qu’elle poursuit. Elle résume un aspect essentiel de la pensée matérialiste du début du XVIIIème siècle’ (Olivier Bloch, Le Matérialisme du XVIIIème siècle et la littérature clandestine, p. 98).
Darnton, The Corpus of Clandestine Literature in France 1769-1789, no. 452; Cioranescu 11384 & 45100-45101 & 39047-39048.
ESTC n30361, well held in France and the UK; California State, Wisconsin-Madison, DLC, UCLA, Chicago and North Carolina in America. OCLC adds Princeton and Stanford.More details Price: £800.00
Le Passe-Tems Agréable,
ou Nouveaux Choix de Bons Mots, de Pensées Ingénieuses, de Rencontres Plaisantes, dont une partie n’avoit point encore été mise au jour, Enrichi d’une Elite des plus Vives Gasconnades, Qui ne sont point dans le Gasconniana, Et de quelques Nouvelles Histoires Galantes, Le tout avec des Réflexions. Nouvelle Edition, augmentée de plus de double. Première Partie [-Seconde].
New Edition, ‘double the size of the last’. Two volumes, 12mo, pp. [xiv], 228; [ii], 216, in contemporary mottled calf, flat spines gilt in compartments with floral vignette, red and olive green morocco labels lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers, all edges red, green silk markers.
A very attractive copy of a popular jestbook, first published in 1700. This new edition is advertised as being ‘augmentée de plus de double’, including… (more)
A very attractive copy of a popular jestbook, first published in 1700. This new edition is advertised as being ‘augmentée de plus de double’, including a new previously unpublished part, new ‘vives gasconnades’ and several new ‘histoires galantes’, all accompanied by refexions. Apart from the mass of popular jokes, tales and so forth, gathered from street-parlance and everyday life and with no known origin, the authors and historical figures who unwittingly contributed their witty sayings to the present compilation include Thomas More, Bacon, Dante, Furetiere, Machiavelli, Rabelais, ‘le capitaine Miller’, ‘George’ and Socrates.
This work is also attributed to Cartier de Saint Philip, author of Le Je ne Sais Quoi, ou mélanges curieux, 1724, though it is not listed in his works by Cioranescu.
OCLC lists Louisiana State University; not in RLIN.More details Price: £380.00
Le Sacrifice De L’Amour;
ou La Messe de Cythere; suivi du Sermon prèché a Gnide, et d’un nouveau Dictionnaire d’Amour, dans lequel on trouvera plusieurs pièces inédites ou peu connues, telles que l’Art de prendre les oiseaux, ou les leçons de l’amour, poëme anacréontique; les articles les plus piquans du Dictionnaire d’Amour du berger Sylvain; la plus grande partie de ceux du Dictionnaire d’Amour qui parût à la Haye, en 1741; et une foule de morceaux extraits des meilleurs écrivains anciens et modernes.
‘Sybaris’, ie. Bordeaux, ‘l’Imprimeur Ordinaire du Plaisir’, 1809.
First Edition. 12mo (183 x 100 mm), 8vo, pp. [xvi], 17-313,  errata,  blank; some foxing and browning in the text, uncut throughout recased in contemporary marbled wrappers with later card pastedowns, lacking free endpapers.
A scarce collection of works on the theme of love put together by Jean Baptiste de Saincric who was inspired to do so because of… (more)
A scarce collection of works on the theme of love put together by Jean Baptiste de Saincric who was inspired to do so because of the rarity of the original publications. A Bordeaux doctor who specialised in medical hygiene and forensics, Saincric wrote widely on the medical topography of Bordeaux and its surroundings. He was a member of the Académie de Bordeaux and was twice president of the Société de Médecine de Bordeaux in 1824 and 1837. Dedicated to ‘Sophie’, this work is a book of parts, with ‘Avis de l’Editeur’, ‘Suite de la note du libraire’ and ‘Introduction’ by way of prefatory material, then the title work, ‘Le Sacrifice de l’Amour, ou la Messe de Cythere’ (pp. 17-48) and ‘Sermon prêché a Gnide, a la Cérémonie du Mai, par le berger Sylvain’ (pp. 49-63). The major part of the volume is the dictionary of amorous terms, which is taken largely from Marechal’s Dictionnaire d’Amour, 1788, with additional material from the earlier Dictionnaire de l’Amour, dans lequel on trouvera l’explication des termes les plus usité dans cette langue, 1741 by Jean-François Dreux du Radier. An index follows the dictionary.
‘The Little Dictionary of Love has become very rare; you can only find it in very few libraries. It therefore seemed urgent to offer a new edition of it, corrected and augmented. In taking on this work, we believe we are performing an essential service to the fervent lovers of Venus and of his dear son. We have not, moreover, omitted anything which might make this new Dictionary worthy of public favour. It collects together the most striking articles by berger Sylvain with a work which was published anonymously at the Hague in 1741; and we have improved it with a host of pleasant pieces, taken from the best writers’.
OCLC lists BN, BL, Cambridge, Amsterdam, McGill and Stanford.
Cioranescu 42536; Gay III, 1059.More details Price: £650.00
Le Sopha, Conte Moral.
Première [-Second] Volume.
‘Gaznah’, ie Paris, 1742.
Second Edition. Two volumes, 12mo in eights and fours, (162 x 92mm), pp. [vi], 298; [vi], 264, title pages in red and black, in contemporary calf, spines gilt in compartments, head of spines chipped, upper joint of first volume cracking, other joints beginning to show some wear, extremities bumped, red morocco labels lettered and numbered in gilt, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt, with the bookplate of Anthony Conyers Surtees in volume one.
The second edition, following the very scarce Le Sopha couleur de roze, 1120 de l’Hégire, a Gaznah, also published in 1742. Neither Jones nor Tchemerzine… (more)
The second edition, following the very scarce Le Sopha couleur de roze, 1120 de l’Hégire, a Gaznah, also published in 1742. Neither Jones nor Tchemerzine had seen a copy of this earlier edition (Jones just lists the present edition as the first) but it does exist: OCLC lists copies at Cambridge, V&A, Penn, McGill and Texas.
Le Sopha is Crébillon fils’ most brilliant novel. It was enormously popular in its time, with its humour, its mild eroticism and its fashionable eastern setting, and is still entertaining today. Dozens of editions have been published from the eigtheenth century to the present. The central character was thought to have been based on Louis XV, a suspicion which was enough to enable Madame de Pompadour to have Crébillon exiled for five years. Laclos further immortalised the work by making it the favourite reading for Madame de Merteuil in his Les Liaisons dangereuses.
‘Crébillon déteste et méprise l’étroite société qu’il décrite, ses hauts personnages hypocrites, corrompus, égoïstes, méchants, inutiles, médisants, fats et quelquefois sots, il fait même passer l’expression satirique de sa haine avant l’intérêt romanesque... A part deux chapitres du Sopha qui évoquent avec lyrisme le franc et vrai plaisir d’aimer, tout le reste de l’oeuvre est pessimiste et grimaçant... à la galerie des imposteurs et des vicieux s’oppose une galerie de libertins lucides, mais aussi antipathiques, et dont aucun n’est vraiment heureux’ (Henri Coulet, Le Roman au XVIII Siècle, pp. 365-366). We can be thankful for those two chapters, which are chapter seven and the final chapter.
Jones p. 79; Tchemerzine IV, p. 193 (b) and p. 194 (figs. I & II); Gay III 1135; see Cioranescu 21744.
OCLC lists McGill, Arkansas, Yale, Harvard, Texas, Bodley & V&A; RLIN adds Princeton and Penn.More details Price: £800.00
Le Soupé des petits-maîtres,
Ouvrage Moral. Première [-Seconde] Partie.
‘Londres’, ie Paris, circa 1772.
First Edition. 12mo (164 x 90 mm), pp. xxiv, -144; vi, -104, text damp-stained and browned in part, in a modern pastiche binding of blue quarter calf over blue boards, spine gilt in compartments, lettered in gilt, inscribed in a contemporary hand on both title-pages ‘Cte de Cunha, Liva de Bulhaco
The very rare first edition of one of the most popular funny books of the French eighteenth century which saw at least half a dozen… (more)
The very rare first edition of one of the most popular funny books of the French eighteenth century which saw at least half a dozen reprints in the eighteenth century and was reprinted by Pierre-Charles Monselet in 1881. The introductory material - introduction, épitre dédicatoire, envoi and avant-propos - describe with gusto the final stages of the work's production. Reading aloud to himself the final phrases of his work, an abbot, looking like a four-foot doll, smiles at the charm of his own work and at how popular it will be with the ladies. He preens himself happily before visiting a young countess to whom he begs leave to dedicate the work.
The work itself is a series of tales and anecdotes, romantic stories interwoven with satirical comment and brief comic interludes, very much like a modern day comedy show with improvisations and narrative serials. The titles of the various chapters give some idea as to the satirical, lively and mildly libertine nature of the work: 'le Labyrinthe', 'le faux Milord', 'le Malade Imaginaire', 'l'Actrice de Province raconte son Histoire', 'Des Boudoirs consacrés à la Volupté' and 'Des Boudoirs consacrés à l'Intérêt'.
'Cet ouvrage moral est le récit d'une partie fine, où chacun raconte son histoire. Les personnages s'appellent Persac, Sainval, le Président, la Bouquetière, la Marchande, la Danseuse, etc. C'est très gai', says Gay, adding, that Cailhava had so much success with the work that he almost immediately reissued it under the title Le Soupé, conte moral.
MMF 70.32; Gay III 1139 (a detailed entry: 'livre rare et curieux pour l'histoire des moeurs du XVIII siècle'). Neither Cioranescu (who lists a Soupir, ouvrage moral, Londres 1772, no. 15126) nor Quérard, who calls Cailhava 'un des meilleurs auteurs comiques de son temps', list this work.
ESTC t1330851, listing the British Library, Taylorian and Illinois only. A later edition is also listed under the title Le Soupé, ouvrage moral, [1780?], at the Taylorian and Stanford only.More details Price: £850.00
Le Veritable Pere Josef
Capucin, nommé au Cardinalat. Contenant l’histoire anecdote du Cardinal de Richelieu.
Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, Butler, 1704.
Second edition, first under this title. 12mo, pp. [iv], 589, , some light browning to text, in contemporary polished calf, triple gilt ruled border to covers, spine chipped at head and foot, otherwise attractive, richly gilt in compartments with a brown morocco label lettered in gilt, all edges marbled, blue marbled endpapers, with a barely readable ownership inscription on the title page and ‘Bibliothèque de Gaignal’ in a contemporary hand in brown ink on the final free endpaper.
A scarce biography of the capucin friar Joseph Le Clerc du Tremblay (1577-1638) Richelieu’s intimate friend and advisor. Known as l’eminence grise, a nickname that… (more)
A scarce biography of the capucin friar Joseph Le Clerc du Tremblay (1577-1638) Richelieu’s intimate friend and advisor. Known as l’eminence grise, a nickname that has come to signify individuals excercising hidden political power, le Père Joseph was immortalised in English literature by Aldous Huxley in his Grey Eminence.
René Richard’s biography was first published under the title Histoire de la Vie du P. Joseph Le Clerc du Tremblay, capucin, in 1702 and republished anonymously here as Le Veritable Père Joseph. Curiously, Richard published a Réponse au livre intitulé Père Joseph, also in 1704, being a criticism of the present ‘anonymous’ work. It was appended to another 1704 printing of the original text under yet another title, Vie du P. Joseph Le Clerc du Tremblay, Geneva 1704. This is a scarce provincial printing from the Savoie region in the Auvergne in southern France.
See Cioranescu 59193.More details Price: £350.00
Le Ville lucchesi con altri opuscoli in versi e in prosa
di Filandro Cretense.
Parma, Stamperia Reale, 1783.
[with:] Versi per la promozione al vescovato di Piacenza del pa
First editions. Two works in one volume, 8vo (200 x 140 mm), pp. [ii], [viii], 195, text printed within decorative border throughout, page numbers also set in a typographical surround, the text block small within a large page, followed by Versi: pp. 24, unpressed throughout, with a small hole to the lower blank margin of the first three leaves, traces of adhesive to lower edge of pp. 97-114, in contemporary block-stamped paste-paper boards in olive green with pattern of black and gold squares, the surface of the paper worn at extremities, binding very slightly sprung, contemporary manuscript shelf mark in ink on the rear pastedown and with contemporary manuscript additions to the errata of the first work, possibly in the same hand.
A delightful production by Bodoni, with the text printed within lovely typographical borders throughout and bound in thick block-stamped paper boards. It is a collection… (more)
A delightful production by Bodoni, with the text printed within lovely typographical borders throughout and bound in thick block-stamped paper boards. It is a collection of texts by Antonio Cerati, a member of the Accademia dell’Arcadia. The first and best of the two works is a poetic celebration of the villas belonging to the Marchese Francesco Buonvisi in Lucca, where he had resided for some time to recover from an illness - an interesting example of eighteenth century Italian topographical poetry. The second part, which is addressed to specific dedicatees, moves from love poetry to political commentary.
The second work, printed by Filippo Carmignani in Parma, is a poem celebrating the promotion of Cerati’s brother to the bishopric of Piacenza.
I. Brooks 239, var. A; Cerati VIII, 195.
II. OCLC lists three copies, only Getty in America.More details Price: £1,000.00
Le Voyageur Philosophe
dans un Pais inconnu aux habitans de la Terre. Par Mr. de Listonai. Tome Premier [-Second].
Amsterdam, aux dépens de l'Editeur, 1761.
First Edition. Two volumes, 12mo, (182 x 105mm), pp. xxiv, 339,  errata; vi, 384, title pages in red and black, as often with this book, some of the gatherings were printed on cheaper paper and are consequently browned (Vol I, F & N, Vol. 2, N), in contemporary mottled calf, spines gilt in compartments, brown and black morocco labels lettered and numbered in gilt, marbled endpapers, red edges.
An extraordinary philosophical voyage in the form of a dream sequence to the land of the Sélénites on the moon. The voyage is made by… (more)
An extraordinary philosophical voyage in the form of a dream sequence to the land of the Sélénites on the moon. The voyage is made by means of one of the earliest fictional aeronautical devices, a complex interplanetary flying machine which takes passengers across the hyperboric region 'à force d'x et d'y' and is flown by a specialist pilot, 'intrépide calculateur de l'infini'. In addition to their flying machines, the Sélénites have a technologically advanced society, with running water in all the houses and air conditioning in the hospitals. There is no concept of ownership, of 'mien' and 'tien', and so there is no crime. In the education of children Villeneuve has a particularly radical outlook, with all the children brought up to be ambidextrous and both sexes educated to the same extent. The Sélénites have also managed to preserve some works that have been lost on earth, including Cicero's Republic and considerable fragments from the library of Alexandria.
Hartig criticises some of Villeneuve's fictional devices as being unoriginal, such as the hero's transportation from Rome to Paris in 48 minutes, or to Japan in 16 or 17 hours, achieved by the author's being suspended in air while the earth rotates. This apparently was an idea first advanced by Fontenelle in 1686 and subsequently refuted. For all that, it is a nice conceit and, scientific accuracy apart, it makes for good fantasy. Hartig further condemns the work for its second volume, which contains only philosophical digressions, 'd'intérêt médiocre'. But Versins devotes a considerable amount of time to the work, which he hails as 'très étonnant' in many aspects, in being pre-Mercier as a utopia set in future time and in being pre-Tiphaigne de la Roche in its communications theories and in its ground-breaking introduction of the astronaut. Hartig adds that the work was severely criticised in the Journal encyclopédique, 1761. Albert Soboul, in his Utopies aux Siècle des Lumières, calls this work 'the perfect realization of the age of enlightenment' (see Lewis, p. 195).
Hartig p. 57; not in Gove; Lewis, Utopian Literature in the Pennsylvania State University Libraries, p. 195; see Versins p. 540.More details Price: £2,500.00