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  • BERNARD, Jean-Frédéric (1690-1752).
    MIRABAUD, Jean-Baptiste de (1675-1760).
    LE MASCRIER, Jean-Baptiste (1697-1760).
    Le monde, son Origine, et son Antiquité. [-De l’Ame et de son Immortalité - Essai sur la Chronologie.] Première [Seconde] Partie. Londres, 1751.

    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.

    View basket More details Price: £800.00
  • ROCHEFORT, J., attributed.
    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]. 1758.

    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.

    View basket More details Price: £380.00
  • Le Petit Momus. by [MINIATURE ALMANACH]
    [MINIATURE ALMANACH]
    Le Petit Momus. Année 1826. Paris, Jourdan, 1826.

    128mo (27 x 19 mm), pp. 64, title-page and text within single rule, fully engraved throughout, with eight full-page engravings included in the pagination, in red morocco, gilt, covers with elaborate gilt border, enclosing central vignette in gilt, depicting a bird flying over a tree to her chicks, whose nest is on the ground by the tree, spine gilt with tiny stars, gilt edges.

    A delightful miniature almanach for 1826, with eight charming and wonderfully executed full-page engravings. The text comprises a collection of sentimental songs, including ‘Le Mardi… (more)

    A delightful miniature almanach for 1826, with eight charming and wonderfully executed full-page engravings. The text comprises a collection of sentimental songs, including ‘Le Mardi Gras’, ‘L’Occasion fait le larron’, ‘La Ceinture’ and ‘Eloge de l’Eau’.

    Not in Bondy, Grand-Carteret or Gumuchian; not in OCLC.

    View basket More details Price: £750.00
  • Le Sacrifice De L’Amour; by SAINCRIC, Jean Baptiste de (1780-1845).MARECHAL, Pierre Sylvain, (1750-1803).DREUX DU RADIER, Jean-François (1714-1781).
    SAINCRIC, Jean Baptiste de (1780-1845).
    MARECHAL, Pierre Sylvain, (1750-1803).
    DREUX DU RADIER, Jean-François (1714-1781).
    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, [2] errata, [1] 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.

    View basket More details Price: £650.00
  • CREBILLON, Claude-Prosper-Jolyot de, 'Crébillon fils', (1701-1777).
    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.

    View basket More details Price: £800.00
  • Le Soupé des petits-maîtres, by CAILHAVA, Jean-François de l'Estendoux (1731-1813).
    CAILHAVA, Jean-François de l'Estendoux (1731-1813).
    Le Soupé des petits-maîtres, Ouvrage Moral. Première [-Seconde] Partie. ‘Londres’, ie Paris, circa 1772.

    First Edition. 12mo (164 x 90 mm), pp. xxiv, [25]-144; vi, [7]-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.

    View basket More details Price: £850.00
  • RICHARD, René (1654-1727).
    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, [11], 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.

    View basket More details Price: £350.00
  • 'the perfect realization of the age of enlightenment' (Soboul)
    'un ouvrage très étonnant' (Versins)
    Le Voyageur Philosophe by VILLENEUVE, Daniel de, pseud. LISTONAI.
    VILLENEUVE, Daniel de, pseud. LISTONAI.
    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, [1] 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.

    View basket More details Price: £2,500.00
  • de Goncourt’s copy in contemporary green morocco
    Les A Propos de Societé by LAUJON, Pierre (1727-1811).MOREAU, Jean Michel, ‘le jeune’ (1741-1814), illustrator.
    LAUJON, Pierre (1727-1811).
    MOREAU, Jean Michel, ‘le jeune’ (1741-1814), illustrator.
    Les A Propos de Societé ou Chansons de M. L****. Tome I [-II]. Paris, 1776.

    First Editions. Three volumes, 8vo, (180 x 105 mm), engraved frontispiece and engraved title-page to each volume and pp. [iii]-x, 302; 316; [iii]-vi, 319, [1] errata, each volume with additional engraved head- and tail-piece, all by Moreau, engraved by Launay, Simonett, Duclos and Martini, additional vignettes throughout the text, in contemporary green morocco, triple gilt fillet to covers, spines gilt in compartments, two red morocco labels on each spine, lettered and numbered in gilt, marbled endpapers, gilt edges, with the ex libris of Henri Bonnasse and an unidentified one with the monogram ‘CC’ (?) on the front pastedown and the bookplate of the Goncourt brothers, designed by Gavarni and engraved by Jules de Goncourt, on the front endpaper of the first volume, with the inscription in red ink, ‘Une des plus delicates illustrations de Moreau, de Goncourt’, from the library of Claude Lebédel.

    Edmond and Jules de Goncourt’s copy of this popular French song book, elegantly printed with fabulous illustrations by Moreau. Pierre Laujon was a celebrated society… (more)

    Edmond and Jules de Goncourt’s copy of this popular French song book, elegantly printed with fabulous illustrations by Moreau. Pierre Laujon was a celebrated society host, who organised soirées and entertainments for a select few, at which his songs and ballads would be performed. His ballets, operas and verse were moderately popular and, eventually, at the advanced age of eighty, gained him his place in the Académie française. This collection contains the melodies and lyrics to 264 songs and ballads. Mostly written in a lively and humorous style, the songs celebrate love and drunkenness, birth and marriage, the follies of old age and the daily social whirl and pastimes of the ancien régime. Moreau’s illustrations are particularly evocative of Laujon’s world of aristocratic entertainment, as shown in the vignette in the second volume which depicts a magic lantern show and its enraptured audience.
    This is a stunning copy from the library of the brothers Edmond de Goncourt (1822-1896) and Jules de Goncourt (1830-1870), bibliophiles, literary partners, models of bon goût and novelists, mostly remembered today for the Prix Goncourt which is probably the most important literary prize in French literature. The brothers’ passion was the literature, art and culture of the eighteenth century and their many collaborative works were based on meticulous collections of books, engravings and documents of the era. One of their principal enthusiasms was the work of Jean-Michel Moreau whose life and works the brothers wrote about extensively (including Les vignettistes, Eisen, Moreau, Paris, Dentu, 1870; L’art du dix-huitième siècle, Paris, 1880-1882).
    Altogether the three volumes include three elegant engraved title-pages by Moreau (that of the first volume is used again in the second, with only the volume number changed), a frontispiece by Moreau, engraved by Launay, Simonet and Martini and three engraved head-pieces by Moreau, engraved by Duclos and Martini and three tail-pieces by Moreau, engraved by de Launay (vols 1 & 2) and by Moreau himself (vol. 3). The text itself is elegantly printed with abundant decoration, typographical ornaments and small vignettes. The third volume, which is usually found with the first two, has the title ‘Les A Propos de la Folie, ou Chancons Grotesques, Grivoises et Annonces de Parade’.

    ‘Les illustrations sont d’une grâce ravissante et comptent parmi les meilleures de Moreau’ (Cohen-de Ricci coll. 604).

    Provenance: Jules and Edmond de Goncourt, with their bookplate, and the manuscript note ‘Une des plus delicates illustrations de Moreau’, signed ‘de Goncourt’.

    Cioranescu 37506 and 37505; Cohen-de Ricci 604.

    Bibliothèque des Goncourt, 391: ‘Bel exemplaire. Les illustrations par Moreau de ces deux ouvrages sont très remarquables’.

    View basket More details Price: £5,000.00
  • Les Bijoux Indiscrets. by DIDEROT, Denis (1713-1784).
    DIDEROT, Denis (1713-1784).
    Les Bijoux Indiscrets. Tome Premier [Second]. ‘Monomotapa’, ie Paris, 1748.

    Second Edition. Two volumes, 12mo, (160 x 92mm), engraved frontispiece and pp. [viii], 288; [iv], 332, four further engraved plates in volume one and two further in volume two, wanting the final leaf, ‘Avis au Relieur’, marginal tear on I, 239, in contemporary half sheep over speckled boards, spines gilt in compartments with green morocco labels lettered and numbered in gilt, attractive colourful patterned endpapers, edges marbled.

    An attractive copy of this early edition of Diderot's controversial novel, listed second by David Adams and given as the second edition by Tchemerzine. The… (more)

    An attractive copy of this early edition of Diderot's controversial novel, listed second by David Adams and given as the second edition by Tchemerzine. The plates all correspond to Adams BI2 except for the first plate in the second volume which has been bound at p. 265 and is marked as such. All the plates have the word ‘Les Bijoux’ underneath the picture and the volume and page numbers marked at the top. The frontispiece, which is the same as Adams’ BI1, is marked ‘tom. I’ and ‘Frontispiece des Bijoux’. The final leaf as called for by Adams, ‘Avis au Relieur pour placer les Figures’ has been discarded.
    Three editions of Diderot’s Bijoux were published in 1748, all with the same title and imprint but with varying illustrations, this edition with the shorter pagination than the other two. This is Diderot’s first novel, written to raise funds to pay for the expensive lifestyle of his mistress, Madame de Puisieux. Based on the medieval tale 'Le chevalier que faisait les cons parler' and heavily influenced by Caylus' adaptation of this and Crebillon fils' contes libertins, Diderot soon came to disavow his earliest and raciest work. It caused an enormous scandal on its publication and, along with his Lettres sur les aveugles, was the cause of Diderot's being imprisoned in Vincennes. This is Diderot's nearest approach to the world of Thérèse Philosophe (on the publication of Bijoux Indiscrets this was frequently attributed to him), 'the bawdy, naughty, cheeky world of the early Enlightenment, where everything was held up to question and nothing was sacred' (Darnton p. 90).
    Even in this, his most scandalous and light-hearted work, Diderot was beginning to express the philosophical ideas that came to fruition in his later work. 'La critique du cartésianisme, des systèmes à priori, des rêveries de la métaphysique, l'apologie de Newton, certaines théories empiristes et associationnistes, les professions de foi de naturalisme moral montrent que, même dans un ouvrage très léger... Diderot n'oublie pas la philosophie' (H. Bénac, quoted by Henri Berthaut in Grente's Dictionnaire des Lettres Françaises).

    Adams, Bibliographie des Œuvres de Diderot, BI2; Tchemerzine IV p. 430 B; Jones p. 97; Darnton Check List 62; see also Cioranescu 24057; Darnton, Forbidden Best-Sellers, p. 90; Gay I, 303; Cohen-de Ricci c. 303.

    View basket More details Price: £950.00
  • Les Bijoux Indiscrets. by DIDEROT, Denis (1713-1784).
    DIDEROT, Denis (1713-1784).
    Les Bijoux Indiscrets. Tome Premier [Second]. ‘Monomotapa’, ie Paris, 1748.

    First Edition. Two volumes, 12mo (162 x 90 mm), engraved frontispiece bound facing the text and pp. [viii], 370; [iv], 420, five further engraved plates in volume one and two further in volume two, engraved vignettes on the titles, text fairly browned and damp-stained in places, title-page vignettes of canopy with cherub facing to the left (76 x 59), frontispiece with the figures to the left and the trees to the right, bearing the legend 'Imagination prenoit la plume des mains de la folie, et l'amour lui dictoit', in modern green vellum, red morocco labels on spines lettered in gilt, red edges.

    The first edition of Diderot's first novel, in a modern green vellum binding. Diderot’s early best-seller was said to have been written to pay for… (more)

    The first edition of Diderot's first novel, in a modern green vellum binding. Diderot’s early best-seller was said to have been written to pay for the expensive lifestyle of his mistress, Madame de Puisieux. Based on the medieval tale 'Le chevalier que faisait les cons parler' and heavily influenced by Caylus' adaptation of this and Crebillon fils' contes libertins, Diderot soon came to disavow his earliest and raciest work. It caused an enormous scandal on its publication and, along with his Lettres sur les aveugles, was the cause of Diderot's being imprisoned in Vincennes. This is Diderot's nearest approach to the world of Thérèse Philosophe (on the publication of Bijoux Indiscrets this was frequently attributed to him), 'the bawdy, naughty, cheeky world of the early Enlightenment, where everything was held up to question and nothing was sacred' (Darnton p. 90).
    Even in this, his most scandalous and light-hearted work, Diderot was beginning to express the philosophical ideas that came to fruition in his later work. 'La critique du cartésianisme, des systèmes à priori, des rêveries de la métaphysique, l'apologie de Newton, certaines théories empiristes et associationnistes, les professions de foi de naturalisme moral montrent que, même dans un ouvrage très léger... Diderot n'oublie pas la philosophie' (H. Bénac, quoted by Henri Berthaut in Grente's Dictionnaire des Lettres Françaises).

    David Adams, Bibliographie des œuvres de Denis Diderot 1739-1900, BII; Tchemerzine II: 922 (IV, 430a); Jones p. 97; Darnton Check List 62; see also Darnton, Forbidden Best-Sellers, p. 90; Gay I, 303.

    View basket More details Price: £800.00
  • ROUSSEAU, Jean-Jacques (1712-1778).
    Les Confessions de J. J. Rousseau, suivies des Réveries du Promeneur Solitaire. Tome Premier [-Second]. [with:] Second Supplément a la Collection des Oeuvres de J. J. Rousseau, Citoyen de Genève. Tome Premier [-Second]. [with:] Seconde Partie des Confessions de J. J. Rousseau. Suivie d’un nouveau choix de Lettres de l’Auteur. Tome Premier. Geneva, 1782-1789.

    First Edition of volumes III and IV; Volumes I and II same year as the First Edition. Five volumes, 12mo, (164 x 92mm), pp. [iv], 316; [iv], 396; 439, with the final page beginning ‘ses mortelles’; 403, with the last line of the final page beginning ‘cette lecture’; [ii], 444, in near-uniform contemporary speckled morocco, joints weakening, some signs of wear with staining and rubbing, with some careful restoration, spines gilt with red and green morocco labels lettered in gilt, with the contemporary ownership inscription of Elizabeth Bateman in each volume, trimmed close with some loss in the final three volumes.

    A handsome set, in an English binding, of Rousseau’s Confessions, with a contemporary English female provenance. This is a mixed set, comprising the first edition… (more)

    A handsome set, in an English binding, of Rousseau’s Confessions, with a contemporary English female provenance. This is a mixed set, comprising the first edition of Volumes III and IV (conforming to Bernard Gagnebin and Lucien Scheler in Tchemerzine V, 563) and a reprint of Volumes I and II, with the same imprint, ‘A Genève, 1782’. It also has the supplementary fifth volume, Seconde Partie des Confessions de J.J. Rousseau. Suivie d’un nouveau choix de Lettres de l’Auteur, Geneve 1789 (OCLC lists the Vassar Collection only).
    The bindings on the first two volumes, published in 1782, are slightly different to those of the final three volumes, but each of them bears the ownership inscription of Elizabeth Bateman. In the first volume she has added ‘2 vols’ and so presumably she purchased them prior to the continuations, which were published some seven years later, and had them bound. In turn, she must have had the continuation volumes bound to match the first two, but perhaps by a different binder: the red labels and the green circular numbering pieces are uniform, but the actual tools used for the binding were different. This is a lovely example of literature on the go and shows how serial publications actually worked. That this is also an import, and an import owned by a female collector, rather adds to the resonance of this particular copy.

    Tchemerzine, V, 563; see also Cioranescu 54642-54643.

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  • CAYLUS, Anne-Claude-Philippe de Tubières de Grimoard de Pestels de Lévis, comte de (1692-1765).
    Les Etrennes de la Saint-Jean. Troisième Edition, Revûe, corrigée & augmentée par les Auteurs de plusieurs Morceaux d’esprit qui n’ont point encore paru. 1751 (altered in manuscript to 1752).

    ‘Third Edition; Second Edition, ‘revue & augmentée’. 12mo, (150 x 85mm), pp. xvi, 197, neat and probably contemporary alteration of the date on the title page to 1752 (MDCCLII, viz., one ‘I’ added) in dark brown ink in a contemporary hand; with the woodcut portrait of the printer, ‘Monsieur ou Madame Oudot’, title page and woodcut page printed in green and black; pp. 166, [4], including woodcut frontispiece printed in brown, title page printed in brown and black with woodcut peapod vignette, in contemporary red morocco, triple fillet border to covers, flat spine simply gilt in compartments, yellow morocco label lettered in gilt, pink and gilt embossed endpapers, gilt edges, with the bookplate of Henry B. H. Beaufoy.

    A very handsome copy in contemporary red morocco, possibly by Derome jeune, of two of Caylus’ most celebrated œuvres badines. These humorous works contain a… (more)

    A very handsome copy in contemporary red morocco, possibly by Derome jeune, of two of Caylus’ most celebrated œuvres badines. These humorous works contain a variety of anecdotes, short stories, little fictional vignettes, imaginary correspondence, short plays, poems and dialogues, with settings which take the reader from the fashionable east to the more disreputable parts of Paris. With the famous coloured frontispiece to Les Etrennes de la Saint-Jean, illustrating the printer, ‘Monsieur ou Madame Oudot’, here printed in green. Also containing ‘Lettre Persanne d’un Monsieur de Paris, à un Gentilhomme Turc de ses Amis’ and the reply ‘Reponse pour le Gentilhomme Turc, à la Lettre Persanne de Paris’ (pp. 14-21); ‘Dialogue en forme de Questions, sur le Mariage’ (pp. 24-29), ‘Le Ballet des Dindons’ (pp. 53-56), ‘Le Prince Bel-Esprit, & la Reine Toute-Belle’ (pp. 61-65) and the conte philosophique ‘Les Epreuves d’Amour dans les quatre Elémens, histoire nouvelle’ (pp. 67-110).
    Les Ecosseuses, ou les Oeufs de Pasques, intended as a sequel to Les Etrennes de la Saint-Jean but not usually found with it, has the frontispiece and part of the title printed in brown. This selection begins with the short story, ‘Le Oui & le Non, mal placés’ (pp. 13-36) and includes a number of short stories with or without dialogue, such as the ‘Histoire Veritable d’un beau Bal dansé après soupé, dans un Fauxbourg de Paris (pp. 69-74). It also includes the short comedy, ‘Le Porteur d’Iau, ou les Amours de la Ravaudeuse’ (pp. 75-142).
    Both works were written in collaboration with a number of Caylus’ friends, including the redoubtable Comtesse de Verrue, Crébillon fils, Duclos, Vadé, Maurepas, Moncrif, Collé and Voisenon. These were the key players in a literary 'société badine' which centred around the actress and comedian Jeanne-Françoise Quinault. The society would meet for exuberant dinners during the course of which they would collectively compose these tales and jeux d'esprit.

    Provenance: with the bookplate of Henry B. H. Beaufoy, whose library was sold at Christie’s on 7th July 1909 (see De Ricci, English Collectors of Books and Manuscripts, p. 181).

    Cioranescu 16247; 16251 (Troyes 1739); Cohen-de Ricci 209; Gay I 182; Jones p. 79 and p. 69.

    OCLC: Les Etrennes de la Saint-Jean: University of Connecticut, DLC, Maryland, Princeton, Pennsylvania State, Vanderbilt and Göttingen.
    Les Ecosseuses: Ohio State only.

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  • Les Etrennes de la Saint-Jean. by CAYLUS, Anne-Claude-Philippe de Tubières de Grimoard de Pestels de Lévis, comte de (1692-1765).
    CAYLUS, Anne-Claude-Philippe de Tubières de Grimoard de Pestels de Lévis, comte de (1692-1765).
    Les Etrennes de la Saint-Jean. Seconde Edition, Revûë, corrigée & augmentée par les Auteurs de plusieurs Morceaux d’esprit. Troyes, la Veuve Oudot [ie Paris, Duchesne], 1742.

    First Edition, Large Paper Copy (satirically designated ‘Seconde Edition, Revûë, corrigée & augmentée’). 12mo, (175 x 100 mm), pp. xii, 264, frontispiece woodcut portrait of the printer, ‘Mr. ou Me. Oudot’ printed in blue with the caption and verse in black, title page and printed in blue and black, with the vignette of books, ‘Au Livre Bleu’, printed in blue; a large paper copy printed on papier vélin, in contemporary diced calf by Bozerian Jeune, single gilt fillet to covers with gilt garland of circles, spine gilt in compartments with simple tooling and rules, lettered in gilt, signed ‘Bozerian Jeune’ at the foot of the spine, marbled endpapers, paper shelf mark label, gilt edges: headcap and upper joints skillfully restored, some wear to extremities, from the library of Claude Lebédel.

    A handsome copy in a Bozerian jeune binding of one of the few copies of Caylus’ jeu d’esprit to be printed on large paper. The… (more)

    A handsome copy in a Bozerian jeune binding of one of the few copies of Caylus’ jeu d’esprit to be printed on large paper. The frontispiece portrait, the ‘blue books’ vignette of the title page, the false imprint and the false edition statement are all part of an elaborate parody of the Bibliothèque bleue printed by Oudot in Troyes. A note on the verso of the frontispiece facetiously explains the inclusion of the portrait in a wonderful sentence rife with double meanings about counterfeit texts: ‘L’Imprimeur étant contrefait, il a jugé à propos de se faire graver, afin que son Livre ne soit pas de lui, quand il n’y sera pas’.
    Another dig at the commercial success of the Oudot family is printed on the verso of the title-page, facing the preface: ‘L’attention que je me donne pour satisfaire le gré du Public, ne m’empêche point de penser à mes petits intérêts; c’est la raison pourquoi, pour satisfaire à la curiosité d’aucuns parmi les Curieux, on a tiré queuques [sic] Exemplaires sur de grand & gros papier; ça me coûte fort peu, & ça se vend un tiers de plus, c’est la maniere’.
    These humorous works contain a variety of contes galantes, facetious anecdotes, short stories, little fictional vignettes, imaginary correspondence, short plays, poems and dialogues, with settings which take the reader from the fashionable east to the more disreputable parts of Paris. With the famous satirical frontispiece illustrating the printer, ‘Monsieur ou Madame Oudot’, here printed in blue. Also containing ‘Lettre Persanne d’un Monsieur de Paris, à un Gentilhomme Turc de ses Amis’ (pp. 21-28) and the reply ‘Reponse pour le Gentilhomme Turc, à la Lettre Persanne de Paris’ (pp. 28-32); ‘Dialogue en forme de Questions, sur le Mariage’ (pp. 37-45), ‘Le Ballet des Dindons’ (pp. 84-91), ‘Le Prince Bel-Esprit, & la Reine Toute-Belle’ (pp. 96-104) and the conte philosophique ‘Les Epreuves d’Amour dans les quatre Elémens, histoire nouvelle’, with its continuation (pp. 106-175). Written in collaboration with a number of Caylus’ friends, including Crébillon fils, Duclos, Vadé, Maurepas, Moncrif, Collé, Voisenon and the redoubtable bibliophile the Comtesse de Verrue. These were the key players in a literary société badine which centred around the actress and comedian Jeanne-Françoise Quinault. The society would meet for exuberant dinners during the course of which they would these tales and satirical pieces would be composed.

    Cioranescu 16247; Cohen-de Ricci 209; Gay I 182; Jones p. 79.

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  • licentious novel sometimes attributed to Restif
    NOUGARET, Pierre Jean Baptiste (1742-1823).
    Les foiblesses d’une jolie femme, ou Mémoires de Madame de Vilfranc, Ecrits par elle-même. Première [-Seconde] Partie. Amsterdam, Belin, 1779.

    Second Edition? Two parts in one volume, 12mo, (160 x 87mm), pp. viii, 94; [iv], 103, wanting the final advertisement (?) leaf to the first volume, in contemporary quarter calf over imitation leather boards, flat spine gilt in compartments, green morocco label (surface rather chipped) vertically lettered in gilt, head of spine chipped.

    A scarce early edition of this notorious licentious novel, attributed both the Nougaret and Restif de la Bretonne, presented as the true memoirs of an… (more)

    A scarce early edition of this notorious licentious novel, attributed both the Nougaret and Restif de la Bretonne, presented as the true memoirs of an attractive young lady, one Madame de Vilfranc. It caused a considerable flurry on publication, was republished at least eight times and was widely accepted as a genuine set of memoirs. Even Voltaire was said to have been taken in by the hoax.
    However, this latter statement calls into question the date of the first edition, as Voltaire died in 1778. There does appear to be some uncertainty as to when the novel first appeared. MMF states that Barbier, Gay, Mornet and Quérard all give an edition of 1776 and Delcro an edition of 1778, but they were unable to find it. I have been unable to find any trace of an earlier edition in any of the usual on-line databases, but whilst Cioranescu and MMF go for the 1779 first edition, the combined weight of Barbier, Gay, Mornet, Quérard and Delcro is hard to wave aside. Besides, there are at least two 1779 editions, not distinguished by MMF or Cioranescu, the one listed by MMF, with pp. iv, 144; 159 and the present edition (Trinity College Dublin only listed in Copac).
    The novel, described as ‘assez érotique’ by Gay, has also been attributed to Restif de la Bretonne, with whom Nougaret collaborated on a number of occasions. ‘On trouve encore là un cordon de sonnette indiscret’, says Gay. The setting is amongst the merchant classes and the action takes place in Paris. In addition to the contemporary popularity of the work, it seems to have had a following in subsequent centuries, published by Lalouette-Douce in 1885, by Edmond Vairel in 1951 and translated into German in 1920 and in 1978.

    See Cioranescu 48442; MMF 79.28; Gay II 226 (under ‘faiblesses’).

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  • [VOLTAIRE: FREDERICK II].
    Les Matinées de Roi de Prusse. Berlin, 1784.

    12mo (138 x 86 mm), engraved frontispiece and pp. 60, partly uncut, text slightly browned, in the original wrappers, apparently covered in marbled paper at a later date, said to be from the library of Pillet-Will, but with no bookplate.

    An attractive copy of a scarce edition of this well known apocryphal pamphlet first published in Berlin in 1766. Written as if by the hand… (more)

    An attractive copy of a scarce edition of this well known apocryphal pamphlet first published in Berlin in 1766. Written as if by the hand of Frederick II, it has frequently been attributed to Voltaire but also to Baron Patono and to Bonneville, aide de camp to Maréchal de Saxe. Quérard says that if it was not written by Frederic II, the author was 'quelque observateur malin, qui a bien saisi sa physionomie, ses habitudes, son esprit et jusqu'à son style'. It was republished frequently under numerous titles, including Soirées du roi de Prusse, Les six matinées du roi de Prusse and L'Art de régner. The editions vary in size as to the number of parts, or 'matinées' included; the present edition includes five.

    BN Voltaire Catalogue 5531; see Quérard II, 92.

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  • SAINT-PIERRE, Charles Irénée Castel, abbé de (1658-1743).
    ALLETZ, Pons-Augustin, editor.
    Les Rêves d'un homme de bien, qui peuvent être réalisés; ou les vues utiles et pratiquables de M. l'Abbé de Saint-Pierre, choisies dans ce grand nombre de Projets singuliers, dont le bien public étoit le principe. Paris, Veuve Duchesne, 1775.

    First Edition. 12mo (165 x 90 mm), engraved frontispiece portrait and pp. xii, 502, [2], in contemporary mottled calf, spine gilt in compartments, red morocco label lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers, all edges red, green silk marker, from the library of Claude Lebédel.

    Extracts of some twenty works by the Abbé de Saint-Pierre, utopian, diplomat, academicien and economist, prophet of the League of Nations, best known for his… (more)

    Extracts of some twenty works by the Abbé de Saint-Pierre, utopian, diplomat, academicien and economist, prophet of the League of Nations, best known for his Projet pour rendre la Paix perpetuelle en Europe, 1713-17. 'Some of his other schemes called for the inauguration of political, economic and demographical statistics; the establishment of an official press; the reformation of taxation by the institution of a tax graduated according to income or, as he proposed in another project, according to capital; the suppression of begging; the improvement of the judicial system; the building of roads; the creation of a system of public instruction; the vocational and professional training of children; the elimination of most of the inequalities between the sexes in matters of education; and certain advanced innovations in pedagogical method' (Palgrave III, 345).
    This selection of his works, selected and edited by Pons-Augustin Alletz, includes essays on population, social welfare, hospitals, child care, finance, commerce and education. 'The works of this 'homme de bien', as he was called in his time, are rare and difficult to collect' (ibid).

    Cioranescu 58718; Kress 7163; Goldsmiths 11219; Higgs 6527; Einaudi 934; INED 43.

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  • ‘Superficial, frivolous and not for philosophers’ but widely read anyway
    Les Souvenirs de Félicie L***. by GENLIS, Caroline-Stéphanie-Félicité Ducrest de Mézières, comtesse de (1746-1830).
    GENLIS, Caroline-Stéphanie-Félicité Ducrest de Mézières, comtesse de (1746-1830).
    Les Souvenirs de Félicie L***. Par Mme de Genlis. Seconde Edition. Paris, Maradan, 1806.

    Second Edition. 12mo, (168 x 88mm), pp. 394, in slightly later dark blue half morocco over green marbled boards, spine simply ruled and lettered in gilt, all edges green, with the ownership inscription ‘E. ? Nugent’ and the later bookplate of Anthony Surtees.

    The first edition of this work was published by Maradan in 1804, although it had been serialised in the Bibliothèque des Romans and parts of… (more)

    The first edition of this work was published by Maradan in 1804, although it had been serialised in the Bibliothèque des Romans and parts of it had been pirated and printed in various journals. It was enormously popular and ran to several editions. A continuation was published, also by Maradan, under the title Suite des Souvenirs de Félicie, Paris 1807. With a dedication to Madame de Genlis’ brother, the original preface to the 1804 edition in which she discusses the work’s early popularity and compares it to the Souvenirs of Madame de Caylus and of Madame Necker. It also includes the fictional introduction by the editor of the works of the late eponymous author.
    ‘Cet ouvrage superficiel et frivole n’est fait ni pour les penseurs ni pour les philosophes, mais il plaira peut-êtreà ceux qui aiment le naturel et la variété’ (Avertissement de l’Editeur des OEuvres posthumes de madame de L***, p. 11).

    See Cioranescu 30650.

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  • HAGEDORN, Christian Ludwig von (1712-1780).
    JANNECK, Franz Christoph (1703-1761).
    Lettre à un Amateur de la Peinture avec des Eclaircissemens Historiques sur un Cabinet et les Auteurs des Tableaux qui le composent. Ouvrage entremêlé de Digressions sur la vie des plusieurs Peintres modernes. Dresden, George Conrad Walther, 1755.

    First Edition. 8vo (188 x 120 mm), pp. [iv], 368, [14], the preliminary leaves including the frontispiece illustration, text fairly heavily browned, uncut throughout, in the original drab boards, spine lettered in ink.

    An attractive, unsophisticated copy of the first edition of ‘Lettre à un Amateur de la Peinture’ by Christian Ludwig von Hagedorn, one of the most… (more)

    An attractive, unsophisticated copy of the first edition of ‘Lettre à un Amateur de la Peinture’ by Christian Ludwig von Hagedorn, one of the most important art historiographers of the Enlightenment. A diplomat and director of the royal picture collection in Dresden, Hagedorn also assembled a significant collection of paintings, which are described and offered for sale in this work. Hagedorn’s ‘Lettre’, which occupies the first twenty pages, is followed by ‘Eclaircissemens historiques’, by Franz Christoph Janneck, the Austrian painter known for his paintings of festive gatherings who was much admired by Hagedorn. Janneck provides a description of the works in Hagedorn’s private collection, along with a series of biographical sketches and anecdotal digressions about various other painters. Janneck provides a wealth of information about both greater and lesser artists: the index designates those painters represented in the collection as well as other artists discussed in the digressions. Those painters thought to feature for the first time in a volume about painting are marked with an asterisk.
    The frontispiece is an etching by Pierre-Jules Hutin (ca. 1720-1763), notable for its inclusion of a female figure engaged in aesthetic debate. The engraving depicts an artist’s studio with two groups of figures deep in discussion. In the foreground is a painting of Leda and the Swan with three figures clustered around it. Standing immediately next to the painting is a woman intently discussing the painting with two male connoisseurs. The more elegant of the men is seated, the other man holds up a glass to the painting and the woman is holding either a pointer or a paint brush.

    Cicognara, Catalogo ragionato dei libri d’arte e d’antichità posseduti dal Conte Cicognara, Bologna 19798, no. 1162.

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  • Lettres Persanes, by MONTESQUIEU, Charles de Secondat, baron de (1689-1755).
    MONTESQUIEU, Charles de Secondat, baron de (1689-1755).
    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, [9]; [iv], 238, [9], 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… (more)

    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.

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