- Tag = Continental Books
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, , 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.
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.More details Price: £100.00
Les Trois Ages de l'Amour,
ou le porte-feuille d’un petit-maitre.
Paphos, ie Paris, Gaspard Menippe, 1769.
First edition? 8vo (185 x 110 mm), pp. [xxxvi], -169, ,  table of contents and errata, uncut throughout with some browning and dampstaining in text, in the original drab boards, rather scuffed and worn at extremities, paper label missing, evidence of shelf mark label at foot of spine also missing, wanting the free endpapers, small unidentified stamped monogram on A2.
A scarce epistolary novel which examines the types and nature of love through a selection of episodes narrated by an abundance of characters. Attributed to… (more)
A scarce epistolary novel which examines the types and nature of love through a selection of episodes narrated by an abundance of characters. Attributed to an obscure lawyer from Rouen, this is erotic fiction presented as scientific abstract, with titles, divisions and subdivisions suggesting a philosophy of love in an attempt to ennoble this loosely connected collection of licentious stories. As the title suggests, the work is divided into three parts, for the ‘three ages’ of love: when love is young, when it enters middle age and finally when it reaches decrepitud: ‘le tems où l’Amour se déclare; celui de son progrès; celui de son déclin’ (Avertissement, p. 49). After a wide-ranging preface, the introductory material begins with ‘Naissance de ce Porte-Feuille’ (pp. xiii-xxxi), signed by Le Milord Sédrei, and ‘Dessein de cet Ouvrage’, which is presented in two parts, ‘Définition de l’Amour; distinction de deux Amours, & déclaration d’Amour de chacun des deux sexes’ and ‘Division générale ou les trois âges de l’Amour’. The introduction concludes with Letter VI, M. Méabbe à M. Ozime, under the subtitle ‘Le Temple de l’Amour. Songe’, where the author of the letter is awoken from his dream by a kiss from his his mistress Rosette. The first part, ‘L’Amour dans son enfance’, begins with an illustration of the phrase ‘Les influences de l’Amour sur un coeur’, in a letter from M. d’Ormeville to a friend, in which he describes his sixteen year old lover, the daughter of a famous actress.
There appear to have been two distinct editions published by Gaspard Menippe in 1769 under the same imprint. MMF and Gay both cite an edition with pp. xxxvi, 107 and have no mention of this edition, while OCLC locates four copies of this edition and none of the other. On the traditional assumption that the longer pagination should have priority - given the ease of resetting from text rather than manuscript - that would suggest this to be the first printing. The work was later expanded by M. de Jouy and published as a continuation of his Galerie des femmes, Amsterdam [Paris], 1802.
Gay is fairly damning of this work: ‘Scènes à tiroir. Série de lettres écrit par des personnages à noms bizarres. Livre mal fait’. The names are a little bizarre, but the text is none the worse for being peopled with lovers called ‘Mademoiselle Xiphaa’, ‘ma chère Yxi’, M. de Walfonze, Fanaol and Amévine, Vimarak, Paswau and Ravoul. The latter’s exploits include scaling the walls of a convent and obtaining the keys to the dormitory, in the true tradition of Clerico-Galante fiction.
OCLC lists Bodleian, Linkoping, Dresden and Penn State (citing this edition, that cited by MMF and Gay not in OCLC).
Cioranescu 24962; see MMF 69.32; Gay III, 1268 (both citing an edition of pp. xxxvi, 107).More details Price: £1,200.00
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, , 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.More details Price: £900.00
Nouvelle Edition Augmentée d’un Sommaire à chaque Lettre & d’une Table. Tome Premier [-Second.]
Cologne, Pierre Marteau, 1752.
New Edition. Two volumes in one, 12mo, (158 x 90mm), pp. [iv], 214, ; [iv], 238, , with a final table of contents to each part, title-pages in red and black, with charming vignettes, in contemporary quarter calf over yellow boards, slightly scuffed, spine brightly gilt in compartments with red and green morocco labels lettered and numbered in gilt, red edges, green silk marker.
An attractive copy of one of the dozens of reprints of Montesquieu’s seminal work, published under the same fictional Cologne imprint as the first edition… (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.
Lisvart de Grèce,
Roman de Chevalerie; ou Suite d’Amadis de Gaule. Par M. de Mayer. Tome Premier [-Cinquième].
First Edition. Five volumes, 12mo, (139 x 78mm), pp. [iv], xii, 298, with four leaves of engraved music; [iv], 334, with one leaf of engraved music; [iv], 314, with three leaves of engraved music; [iv], 309, with two leaves of engraved music; [iv], 330, with two leaves of engraved music (a total of 12 leaves of engraved music), in contemporary pale mottled calf, the boards coloured with a red pigment leaving the spines pale but speckled (I don’t think they are just faded), green morocco labels lettered and numbered in gilt, flat spines gilt in compartments, simple tooled border to covers, dark blue endpapers, gilt edges.
An attractive set of a scarce chivalric romance by Charles Joseph de Mayer, mostly remembered for his impressive Cabinet des fées, a forty-one volume collection… (more)
An attractive set of a scarce chivalric romance by Charles Joseph de Mayer, mostly remembered for his impressive Cabinet des fées, a forty-one volume collection of fairy tales published between 1785 and 1789. The present novel, intended as a continuation of Tressan’s version of Amadis de Gaul, published in 1779, follows the adventures of Lisvart, the son of the Emperor of Constantinople. In keeping with Mayer’s interest in the fairy tale, Lisvart de Grèce includes plenty of fantastical sequences alongside the chivalric. In a fascinating introduction, in which Mayer talks of his involvement with Tressan in the Bibliothèque universelle des romans and discusses the state of French literature, he advises readers to start by reading Tressan’s work before moving on to his continuation, to save confusion between the different characters and generations. He suggests that this is a good time to publish the romances of chivalry, to restore a little French colour into a literature that has of late been besieged by translations from the English and the German. Following the lead of Tressan, Mayer has also attempted to update the genre to make it more accessible to a contemporary audience.
‘J’ai cru devoir imiter le Comte de Tressan... supprimer, ajouter, créer, polir, substituer, arrondir, & rapprocher un peu de nos tems & de nos mœurs la scene ancienne & le vieux théâtre; briser enfin le verre d’un tableau de lanterne magique, pour faire des tableaux vrais & les portraits ressemblans... Je devrois peut-être faire observer que le moment de mettre en lumière les Romans de Chevalerie est plus favorable qu’on ne feroit tenté de le croire. Depuis quelques années, la France ne reçoit & ne lit que des traductions de Romans Anglois, & des fictions prises dans les Auteurs Allemands: il me semble que toutes nos couleurs soient épuisées... il paroît même que les teintes légeres réussiroient; car nos passions paroissent entierement purgées de cette maniere noire qui a marqué nos Romans’ (pp. vi-x).
The novel is accompanied by a sequence of twelve songs, which accompany the text on engraved plates in which both words and musical score are given. These are composed by Pierre-Jean Porro (1750-1831), the influential composer and guitarist. Following the novel are two short stories by Mayer, Amours de Guillaume de St.- Vallier, Troubadour, (V, 255-294) and Amours de Jeanne, Reine de Jérusalem, de Naples, de Sicile, Comtesse de Provence; Roman Historique, (V, 295-330).
OCLC lists DLC and Cleveland Public Library only.
Cioranescu 44113; MMF 88:91.More details Price: £800.00
contenant un grand nombre d’Enigmes ingénieuses, choisies entre toutes celles qui ont paru depuis près d’un Siecle.
Paris, la Veuve Duchesne, 1767.
First Edition. 12mo, pp. viii, 376, in contemporary mottled calf, spine gilt in compartments, brown morocco label lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers and edges.
A ‘shop of riddles’, this scarce volume of poetry includes three hundred and thirty-seven enigmatic poems or verse riddles on subjects as diverse as the… (more)
A ‘shop of riddles’, this scarce volume of poetry includes three hundred and thirty-seven enigmatic poems or verse riddles on subjects as diverse as the moon, the game of chess, glasses (‘nous sommes deux soeurs de même âge’), carnivals, fables, the opera and a pearl necklace. A key to the solutions is found at the back of the work.
OCLC lists BN, Sainte-Geneviève, Rennes, Lyon, Copenhagen and BL.
Cioranescu 7812.More details Price: £350.00
Marie Menzikof, et Fédor Dolgorouki
Histoire Russe, en forme de lettres. Traduit de l’Allemand d’Auguste La Fontaine. Par Mme. Isabelle de Montolieu. Tome I [-II].
Paris, Gosset, 1804.
First Edition in French. Two volumes, 12mo, (155 x 90mm), pp. viii, 376; [ii], 291, bound without the half-titles, in contemporary half calf over marbled boards, flat spines ruled and gilt in compartments, lettered and numbered in gilt directly onto the spines, joints slightly splitting, some wear to extremities, attractive but for a sizeable piece of leather missing from the head of the spine of vol. I (10x17mm), with the bookplates of John Drummond and Anthony Surtees.
An epistolary novel by Auguste Lafontaine, set in Russia in the early eighteenth century and translated by Isabelle de Montolieu, a writer strongly influenced by… (more)
An epistolary novel by Auguste Lafontaine, set in Russia in the early eighteenth century and translated by Isabelle de Montolieu, a writer strongly influenced by the German and English literature of the time. Lafontaine’s romantic fiction had a wide readership among women throughout Europe and was enormously popular in England. Summers lists some thirty titles published in English, in some cases in more than one version, many of which, including the present novel, were printed by the Minerva Press. The present novel, first published as Fedor und Marie in 1803, was translated as Dolgorucki and Menzikoff, A Russian Tale, London, Minerva Press, 1805 (see Blakey p. 214). There was also a three volume ‘Londres’ edition of this French translation, also 1804, but Cioranescu gives precedence to this Paris edition.
OCLC lists Bodleian, Toronto, Amsterdam, Missouri and Princeton only. The Londres 1804 edition only slightly more common, at CUL, UCLA, Yale, Rider University, Cleveland PL and Texas.
Cioranescu 47088; not in Gay, who lists Duperche’s 1817 translation only (III, 65); Cf. Summers, pp. 89 and 298.
Mémoires de Messire Pierre de Bourdeille,
Seigneur de Brantome, contenans les Vies des Dames Illustres de France de son temps.
Leiden, Jean Sambix, 1665.
First Edition. 12mo, (127 x 75mm), pp. [vi], [ii] blank, 407, ; small marginal tear on p. 363, just touching the text but with no loss, in contemporary vellum, sturdy but a little spotted and browned, slightly spine lettered in ink.
The first and most famous of Brantôme’s Mémoires, this volume includes the outspoken Vies des Dames Illustres. Written after his retirement from public life in… (more)
The first and most famous of Brantôme’s Mémoires, this volume includes the outspoken Vies des Dames Illustres. Written after his retirement from public life in 1589, Brantôme had left instructions that his Mémoires should be published, but it was not until 1665 that this first volume appeared. Written in a frank, conversational manner, Brantôme describes his years at the centre of the glittering court and gives detailed and highly personal accounts of his contemporaries. His accounts give a highly colourful picture of court life and his descriptions of the sex lives of the ladies of the court are striking because of his ability to present graphic detail in a straightforward and almost bland style, as if he were talking about the weather.
OCLC lists BN, Sainte-Geneviève, Oxford, Cambridge, Aberdeen, Harvard, Princeton, Suny, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Penn and James Munroe Museum.
Tchemerzine, II, pp. 110-111.More details Price: £600.00
Mémoires du Marquis de Solanges.
Première [-Seconde] Partie.
Amsterdam, Esclapart, 1766.
Second Edition. Two parts in one volume, 12mo, (162 x 90mm), pp. [iv], 151, ; [vi], 171, ; in contemporary quarter calf over yellow boards, spine gilt in compartments with red and green morocco labels lettered and numbered in gilt, red edges.
A light-hearted sentimental novel set in diplomatic circles in Brussels and the Hague. The author, an officer in the cavalry, was a popular novelist ‘connu… (more)
A light-hearted sentimental novel set in diplomatic circles in Brussels and the Hague. The author, an officer in the cavalry, was a popular novelist ‘connu comme littérateur dans le genre léger où il a fait preuve d’un certain esprit’ (DLF). Desboulmiers, as he was known, also had an interest in the theatre and a broad knowledge of its history. His two most important works on theatre history, Histoire anecdotique et raisonnée du théâtre italien, Paris 1769 and Histoire du théâtre de l’Opéra-Comique, Paris 1769, are still consulted today.
This is one of three novels first published in 1766 by Desboulmiers, the others being De tout un peu ou les amusements de la campagne, Amsterdam 1766 and Honny soit qui mal y pense ou histoires de filles célebres du XVIIIe siècle, Londres 1766. This is the second of two editions of this work which appeared in the same year under the same imprint. MMF record a further three editions.
OCLC lists Amsterdam, McGill, UCLA, NYPL and Vanderbilt.
Cioranescu 34767; Gay III, 163; MMF 66.27.More details Price: £350.00
Mémoires presentés à Monseigneur le duc d’Orleans,
Régent de France. Contenant les moyens de rendre ce Royaume très puissant, & d’augmenter considerablement les revenus du Roi & du Peuple. Par le C. de Boulainvilliers. Tome I [-II].
The Hague, aux dépens de la Compagnie, 1727.
First Edition. Two volumes in one, 8vo, (152 x 88 mm), pp. [vi], 158; [vi], 5-230,  table and errata, title-page to the first volume printed in red and black, the second title-page printed in black only, in contemporary speckled calf, spine gilt in compartments, brown morocco label lettered in gilt, surface cracking to joints and extremities a little rubbed, plain endpapers, red edges, from the library of Claude Lebédel.
An important economic treatise on the causes of financial distress in France, with suggested political and economic solutions. Boullainvilliers’ frank exposé of the last years… (more)
An important economic treatise on the causes of financial distress in France, with suggested political and economic solutions. Boullainvilliers’ frank exposé of the last years of Louis XIV’s reign was rather too much for the authorities, who had it condemned on publication. His political writings - ‘original to the point of eccentricity’, says Christopher Betts in the New Oxford Companion to Literature in French - were hostile to royal policy and express an extreme version of feudalism, ‘le chef d’œuvre de l’esprit humain’, in which power is returned from the king to the nobles. An expansion of the economic sections of his more famous État de la France, the present work is dedicated to the duc d’Orléans. In common with all Boulainvilliers’ works, the present memoir was published posthumously and outside France.
Boulainvilliers presents his argument in six parts or memoirs, the most striking of which is the second, that comes down heavily against the financiers and proposes a separate office for the state treasure, the third memoir, which attacks arbitrary taxation and the sixth, particularly resonant, which attacks poor financial administration. Boulainvilliers may have been an eccentric, but many of his economic theories were well ahead of his time and anticipated the ideas of the physiocrats, by whom he was much admired.
‘Some scholars happily ascribe all six memoranda under consideration to Boulainvilliers in order (it appears) to enhance his reputation - for once an attractive reputation - as an aristocratic liberal or progressive reformer of the 18th century. In fact, one may exclude from the Boulainvilliers corpus two or even three of the six memoranda under consideration. In keeping with Boulainvilliers' character, the author of memorandum 1 claims no expertise in fiscal matters, recommends instead that some faithful, enlightened, and wise persons screen any financial advice or projects submitted to the regent, and urges him above all to assemble the Estates. Equally consonant with Boullainvilliers' character is memorandum 4’ (H. A. Ellis, S. 244f).
Cioranescu 13383; Einaudi 656; INED 714.
ou Histoire galante de deux Turcs pendant leur séjour en France, par un Auteur Turc, de toutes les Académies Mahometanes, Licencié en Droit Turc, & Maître-ès-Arts de l’Université de Constantinople. Première [-Troisième] Partie.
Fourth Edition. Three parts in one volume, 12mo (140 x 75 mm), pp. 180; 172; 173, I: small clean tear to I8 with no loss to text, III: gathering D partly loose at lower gutter, upper outer corner of G6 torn, P1 slightly adhering to following at gutter, P3 mounted on final free endpaper, in contemporary sheep, extremities rubbed, front corner of board exposed, joints splitting at head of spine, front and back, later ink shelfmark and pencilled bibliographical note.
A scarce edition of this extremely popular novel, first published in 1743. With a fictional ‘Constantinople’ imprint, accentuating its fashionable eastern appeal, the novel romanticises… (more)
A scarce edition of this extremely popular novel, first published in 1743. With a fictional ‘Constantinople’ imprint, accentuating its fashionable eastern appeal, the novel romanticises the stay of the Turkish ambassador in Paris, while recounting his amorous adventures in the form of a memoir written by the ambassador himself. Godard d’Aucour was a French tax officer and prolific author of a number of novels, epistolary and adventurous. In the present work, the combination of political satire and libertine edge made it an under-the counter best-seller with more than a dozen editions published before the end of the century. Probably because of the surreptitious nature of the text, all these early editions are now scarce, with only a handful of copies of each edition listed in Worldcat. 'Ce voyage galant dans les cours de l'Europe et particulièrement dans celle de France, a été mis à l'index, comme immoral, par mesure de police, en 1825... c'est un des romans satiriques les plus gais et les plus empoignants du siècle dernier. Il se rapproche en quelque manière des Lettres persanes...' (Gay III, 190).
'Puisque je me trouve dans un pays si fertile en Auteurs', begins the text, 'on me permettra bien de l'être aussi. Un Turc, quoiqu'on en dise à Paris, est un home comme un autre. Les François sont assez polis pour me pardoner les fautes que je ferai en leur langue. Je l'avois apprise dans mon enfance avec un soin extreme; mais je l'ai un peu négligée depuis quelques années que je travaille à metre l'Alcoran en vers Turcs'.
MMF 58. R24; see also Gay III, 190; Darnton 441; Cioranescu 31343; Jones p. 81.
OCLC lists BN and Clermont-Ferrand only.
Mes Souvenirs de vingt ans de séjour à Berlin;
ou Frédéric le Grand, sa famille, sa cour, son gouvernement, son Académie, ses écoles, et ses amis littérateurs et philosophes; par Dieudonné Thiébault, de l’Académie Royale de Berlin, de la Société libre des Sciences et Arts de Paris, etc. Seconde Edition, revue et corrigée. Tome Premier [-Cinquième]. Frédéric le Grand.
Paris, Buisson, 1805.
First Edition. Five volumes, 8vo (190 x 115 mm), pp. [viii], xlvii, [i], -372, ; [iv], 375, ; [iv], 383, ; [iv], 331, ; [iv], 426, final gathering of volume four misbound; signed by the publisher and author, in contemporary half calf over pale speckled boards, orange and black morocco labels and numbering pieces, black morocco labels lettered in gilt ‘Pillet Will’ at the foot of each spine.
Second edition of Dieudonné Thiebault’s detailed memoirs of the court of Frederick II covering Frederick himself, his family, the court, the Academy, schools, philosophers and… (more)
Second edition of Dieudonné Thiebault’s detailed memoirs of the court of Frederick II covering Frederick himself, his family, the court, the Academy, schools, philosophers and intellectuals, and the military and civil government of Prussia. Thiebault had first gone to Berlin in 1765 to take up a post as Professor of Literature at the Academy on the recommendation of d’Alembert. He subsequently became an advisor to the king, helping him with his addresses to the Académie des sciences de Berlin and editing many of his works prior to publication. Thiebault remained in Berlin for twenty years, where he was given a place in the Academy and was granted a pension by Frederick.
Provenance: Michel-Frédéric Pillet-Will (1781-1860), with black labels lettered ‘Pillet-Will’ in gilt at the foot of the spines.
See Cioranescu 61689-61692.
Mon Bonnet de Nuit.
Par M. Mercier... Tome Premier [-Quatrième].
Neuchâtel, la Société Typographique, 1784 [Vols III & IV: Lausanne, Jean-Pierre Heubach, 1785].
First Edition of Vols. I & II; Vols. III & IV same year as the first edition. Four volumes, 8vo, (190 x 114mm), pp. [iv], 396; [iv], 423; [ii], 360; [ii], 346, wanting the half-titles in the third and fourth volumes, occasional heavy browning in the last two volumes, in contemporary mottled calf, central monogram gilt on all covers, spines gilt in compartments, numbered in gilt, red morocco labels lettered in gilt.
An attractive copy of one of Mercier's most important works, a collection of short essays, some written in the form of dream sequences, and one… (more)
An attractive copy of one of Mercier's most important works, a collection of short essays, some written in the form of dream sequences, and one or two 'contes'. Some parts had previously been published in Mercier's Songes philosophiques, 1768, but this was very much part of Mecier's distinctive style. 'He published prodigiously by recycling passages from one book to another and stretching essays into multi-volume tracts. His major works - L'An 2440, Tableau de Paris, and Mon Bonnet de Nuit - therefore have a formless character. They are composed of short chapters on a wide variety of subjects, which Mercier cobbled together without worrying about narrative coherence. When a book caught on, he expanded it, cutting and pasting and fighting off pirates as he advanced from one edition to the next. The result was never elegant, but it often had a gripping quality, because Mercier knew how to observe the world around him and to make it come alive in anecdotes and essays. There is no better writer to consult if one wants to get some idea of how Paris looked, sounded, smelled, and felt on the eve of the Revolution' (Darnton, The Forbidden Best-Sellers, 1996, p. 118).
The work is made up of two distinct parts. In the first edition, volumes III and IV bear exactly the same imprint as the present edition but have a different pagination, viz. pp. [iv], 390; [iv], 382. It was inordinately popular and many editions followed, both in two and in four volumes. MMF lists a total of twenty-six editions. The final two volumes were also published under the title, Mon Bonnet du Matin.
Cioranescu 44452, calling for two 1784 Neuchatel volumes only; see also Gay III 257, 'curieux receuil d'anecdotes pour servir à l'histoire du XVIII siècle'.More details Price: £650.00
Nouveau Voyage Sentimental,
Cinquieme Edition, par M. Gorgy. Tome Premier [-Second].
Paris, Guillot, 1791.
Fifth Edition. Two volumes, 12mo ( 123 x 79 mm), engraved frontispiece to each volume and pp. [ii], 187; [ii], 236, in contemporary mottled calf, single gilt fillet to covers, flat spines gilt in compartments, black morocco labels and numbering pieces lettered and numbered in gilt, with the ownership inscription of Lady Hunloke on the front pastedown of each volume: slight wear to extremities but a nice copy.
Jean Claude Gorgy, a minor sentimental novelist, had his hour of glory with this little novel, which was first published in 1784. ‘Nouveau Voyage Sentimental… (more)
Jean Claude Gorgy, a minor sentimental novelist, had his hour of glory with this little novel, which was first published in 1784. ‘Nouveau Voyage Sentimental contains engaging pages, true paintings, a happily studied dialogue, and above all, a frank feeling of honesty. There is reason to believe that there is much of Gorjy's own history as the secretary of the Marquis de Villeurnoy’ (Larousse). As can be seen from the title, this production was heavily influenced by Sterne. It was very popular and was republished numerous times in France as well as in Germany and England. Gorgy later published another tribute to Sterne, a sentimental novel called Ann'quin Bredouille, ou le Petit-Cousin de Tristram Shandy, Paris, 1792.
See MMF 84.27.More details Price: £200.00
col testo originale Inglese posta in versi Italiani sopra Traduzione Letterale e Poesie Diverse di L. P. Seconda Edizione.
Bologna, Marsigli, 1823 (altered by stamp from 1821).
Three works in one, small 4to (200 x 145 mm), pp. , partly in parallel text with the English translation; pp. , with the divisional title ‘Rime Faceto-Morale’ handstamped ‘Estemporanee’; pp. , some of the paper lightly but evenly browned, in contemporary blue paper boards with simple gilt roll tool border, slim spine ruled into compartments in gilt with floral device in each compartment in gilt, extremities worn and some scuffing to the surface of the spine and boards, yellow edges.
A curious Ossian style production, with a Norwegian saga written in Italian terza rima and printed alongside the supposedly English prose original, ‘Almurka and Snivenus’.… (more)
A curious Ossian style production, with a Norwegian saga written in Italian terza rima and printed alongside the supposedly English prose original, ‘Almurka and Snivenus’. Set in early medieval Norway where the enlightened monarchs Alminda (the name has been changed to be more resonant with the Italian language) and Sniveno reign over a peaceful nation, though under the rule of Britain. One sorrowful day the King of Britain summons Sniveno, ‘come to the English court; an high reason of state requires it’ and despite the anguished entreaties of his wife, fearful of the raging seas, he submits to the order and embarks for Britain. A few days later, the vessel ‘was assailed in a dark night by a terrible storm. The ship was flinged up and down by the waves and beated at once by winds, hail, and rain. The thunder bursted in the darkness. The Master of the ship was appaled for the danger; the thunderbolt rending the clouds sended on the surge a flash of livid light. The sailors had lost their art and spirit. The vessel was plunged down almost topsyturvy and cryes and groans were heard. The whirlwind broke masts and sails; the surpassing and raged waves fluttered around the bodys of agonizing and dead men, and some of them not yet entirely drowned uttered in their throat with a dying groan the name of their fathers, children and wives’. The spirit of Snivenus assumes the form of the drowned king and returns in a dream to Almurka, who goes to the shore where she finds her husband’s corpse and promptly dies of grief. The Italian poem is clearly the original, but the florid English translation, so clearly non-native, is charming.
Alminda e Sniveno first appeared in Milan in 1818 and this second edition was first published in 1821. OCLC lists only the 1821 edition of Novella Romantica, at Bodleian and the BN. The Bodleian copy is catalogued as pp. , which brings the volume to the conclusion of ‘Alminda e Sniveno’, with a final Italian poem printed on the verso. In the present volume, the dates on the imprint have been altered to 1823 and a further eight pages have been added, comprising Italian poems on mainly historical themes. The second work in the volume, Pascoli’s Improvvisi, contains a selection of verse on various subjects; it was first published in 1812 (actually 1821) with slightly differing contents. The divisional title, ‘Rime Faceto-Morali’ has been stamped ‘Estemporanee’. The final work in the volume is a New Year’s poem for 1823. Although not recorded as by Pascoli, its inclusion in this volume and the similarity with his other publications, would suggest his authorship.
Novella Romantica: OCLC lists BN and Bodleian only, both dated 1821, Bodley copy pp. . The other two works not in OCLC.More details Price: £750.00
Elogia doctorum virorum ab avorum memoria publicatis ingenij monumentis illustrium. [with] Descriptiones, quotquot extant, regionum atque locorum. [with] Moschouia, in qua situs regionis antiquis incognitus, religio gentis, mores, &c. fidelissime referuntur.
Basel, [Henricus Petrus and Petrus Perna,] 1561.
First Collected Edition. Three parts in one volume, 8vo (146 x 100 mm), pp. [xvi], 310, [x]; [xvi], 237, [i]; 180, [vi], separate title-page to each part, woodcut initials, intermittent traces of light dampstaining to upper and outer blank margins, slightly heavier to a handful of leaves, in a contemporary South German pigskin binding over bevelled wooden boards, stamped to a double blind ruled panel design, outer border with blind-stamped crucifixion, snake wrapped around the cross and St Peter, lozenge-shaped ornaments on the central panels, bordered with blind stamps of rosettes and stars, two brass clasps (one wanting hook), raised bands, titles inked to spine and upper margin of upper board, extremities a little rubbed, traces of old bookplate on front pastedown, a few near contemporary marginalia to the third work.
A scarce edition, in three parts, of five major works by the Italian physician, historian and biographer Paolo Giovio, including his account of Muscovy and… (more)
A scarce edition, in three parts, of five major works by the Italian physician, historian and biographer Paolo Giovio, including his account of Muscovy and his history of Britain.
The first part features the ‘Elogia doctorum virorum’ of 1546 - an encyclopaedia of early humanism celebrating with short biographies important scholars of the time including Trapetiuntius, Regiomontanus, Thomas Linacre, Copernicus, Machiavelli and Zwingli. The second includes his ‘Descriptiones Britanniae, Scotiae, Hyberniae & Orchadum’ of 1548, devoted to the history and ethnography of the British Isles, followed by ‘elogia’ of important British figures including Thomas More, chronological annals of the kingdom and a genealogical diagram of the kings of England. The third part begins with his influential account of Muscovy first published in 1525: a fundamental source for the knowledge of Russia in 16th-century Europe, with sections on its history, customs, religion and language. His first and less famous ‘De Romanis Piscibus libellus’ of 1524 is also included, an account of all the kinds of fish which could be caught in the River Tiber, as well as ‘Descriptio Larii Lacus’, a topographical account of Lake Como, near which Giovio lived.
In a fine contemporary binding, probably from southern Germany: the blind stamps of the Crucifixion, with the snake wrapped around the Cross and St Peter is typical of sixteenth century bindings from Bavaria and Saxony.
Graesse III, 490 only mentions the 1578 Basel edition; not in Brunet.
OCLC locates Yale only.More details Price: £2,000.00
The Hague, aux dépens de la compagnie, 1746.
Third Edition. 12mo, (133 x 68 mm), engraved frontispiece (98 x 57 mm) and pp. [ii], 136, , printer’s ornament on title-page with four heads around a central block of 20 squares, the pagination irregular between p. 31 and p. 46 (as in Adams PD3), small partial tear on title-page, across two lines of text but with no loss, some spotting and browning in text, in nineteenth century brown morocco, single filet gilt border to covers with corner fleurons, spine gilt in compartments, lettered in gilt, brown marbled endpapers with morocco strengthening at gutter, gilt dentelles, gilt edges, from the library of Claude Lebédel.
An early edition - for many years thought to be the first - of Diderot’s first original work, bound in nineteenth century morocco. An immediate… (more)
An early edition - for many years thought to be the first - of Diderot’s first original work, bound in nineteenth century morocco. An immediate furore followed its initial publication and it was condemned to be burnt by the Paris Parlement for its dangerous and anti-religious content: ‘the venom of the most criminal opinions that the depravity of human reason is capable of’. Diderot’s original manuscript had been purchased by the bookseller Durand and the first editions were printed in Paris at the clandestine press of l’Epine. It was to become one of Diderot’s most popular and controversial works, running to at least eighteen editions in the eighteenth century and prompting numerous refutations.
At this stage in his life, the young Diderot was a Deist and in the Pensées he sets out to demonstrate the existence of God through evidence of the material world. He attacks atheism in this work, but also criticises revealed religion and religious asceticism and challenges the existence of miracles. He writes eloquently of human passions and argues for the reconciliation of feeling with reason. The work is presented in the form of sixty-two short chapters, some of which are little more than maxims, brief and quotable in the manner of La Rochefoucauld, such as: ’A thing is not proved just because no one has ever questioned it’; ‘One may demand of me that I should seek truth but not that I should find it’ and ‘Skepticism is the first step towards truth’. The work concludes with a final detailed index.
This is one of four editions that appeared in 1746, all with the imprint ‘A la Haye, aux dépens de la compagnie’. The present printing was long thought to be the first edition, partly on account of its errors in pagination, but Adams demonstrates that it is third in priority. Furthermore he concludes that the present edition was entirely reset, rather than as previously thought a few corrections being made to a number of pages. The printer’s ornament is the same as both previous editions, but the double rule in the imprint of this copy measures 50mm, rather than the 45mm as called for by Adams.
With an attractive engraved frontispiece in the manner of Eisen, in which the voluptuous figure of Truth standing on the right removes the mask from the foul looking figure of Superstition, who is lounging on the floor with a broken sceptre. In our copy the plate measures 98 x 57 mm.
Adams, Bibliographie des œuvres de Denis Diderot, PD3; Cioranescu 24143; Cohen-de Ricci col. 305.
Philosophie de Kant.
Ou Principes Fondamentaux de la Philosophie Transcendentale. Par Charles Villiers, de la Société royale des sciences de Gottingue. Première [-Seconde] Partie.
Metz, Collignon, 1801.
First Edition. 8vo, (180 x 115 mm), pp. lxviii, 249, , , 251-441, lacking the final endpapers, small stain to the upper margin of the preliminary leaves, marginal paper repair to title-page, in contemporary tree calf, rather worn, corners bumped, front joint cracking, flat spine gilt in compartments with black morocco label lettered in gilt, paper label largely removed, marbled endpapers, red edges, from the library of Claude Lebédel.
A scarce book of considerable significance, this was the first work to introduce the ideas of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) to the French-speaking world. In the… (more)
A scarce book of considerable significance, this was the first work to introduce the ideas of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) to the French-speaking world. In the long preface, Villers discusses the impact of Kant’s works and their principal opposition, comparing him in importance with Descartes and Copernicus. ‘C’est en 1781 que parut le livre à jamais mémorable, Critique de la Raison Pur... une doctrine nouvelle [qui] ruinait toutes les métaphysiques qui l’avaient précédé... Ce livre renfermait la plus désolante et la plus irréfragable définition du mot savoir, chose que tant de savans ignorent’ (pp. xix-xx). Villers highlights Kant as one of two game-changing thinkers of the age, the other being Lavoisier: ‘La nouvelle chimie, la nouvelle philosophie, sont les deux tendances majeures de notre âge, les deux degrés scientifiques les plus remarquables qu’a monté notre génération’ (p. x).
Villers expresses his surprise that such a key thinker has remained unknown in France: ‘Depuis près de vingt ans, une nouvelle philosophie qui intéresse tout le savoir humaine... est encore inconnue aux Français, et il ne s’en est pas encore trouvé un seul qui ait entrepris de l’étudier et de la faire connaître à sa patrie... Mais il semble qu’il y ait une distance infranchissable de l’esprit français à l’esprit allemand; ils sont placés sur deux sommets entre lesquels il y a un abîme. C’est sur cet abîme que j’ai entrepris de jeter un pont’ (pp. lx-lxiv).
Villers studied at the Benedictine College in Metz and then went on to the School of Applied Artillery in the same town, where he developed an interest in animal magnetism. After the French revolution, he moved to Göttingen where he had an affair with the German intellectual Dorothea von Schlözer, subsequently moving in with her and her husband, Mattheus Rodde, where the three lived openly as a menage à trois. It was Villers’ French nationality that protected the household during the French occupation in 1806, a narrative that is described in his a letter written to Fanny de Beauharnais and published as Lettre contenant un récit des événements qui se sont passés à Lübeck le 6 novembre 1806, [sans lieu] 1807, a popular work which in later editions carried Fanny de Beauharnais’ name on the title-page.
OCLC lists the National Library of Spain only.
Cioranescu 63496.More details Price: £2,400.00
Poetæ minores Græci.
Hesiodus, Theocritus, Moschus,... Quibus subjungitur eorum potissimum quae ad Philosophiam Moralem pertinent, Index Utilis. Accedunt etiam Observationes Radulphi Wintertoni in Hesiodum.
Cambridge, Hayes, 1684.
8vo, pp. [viii], 224, 227-533, , 88, , , title-page with typographic border, parallel text in Greek and Latin throughout, tightly bound in continental contemporary vellum, double gilt filet to covers with corner ornaments, central rectangular panels with a hooved long-tailed figure with a human face leaning on a heraldic shield, lacking ties, spine ruled and stamped in gilt, in four compartments, tooling faded and lettered in ink over the faded ornament in the top compartment, with the bookplate of Reinholdi Dezeimeris in Latin and Greek.
A scholarly anthology of minor Greek poetry edited by the English physician Ralph Winterton and first published in Cambridge in 1635. The volume concludes with… (more)
A scholarly anthology of minor Greek poetry edited by the English physician Ralph Winterton and first published in Cambridge in 1635. The volume concludes with Winterton’s own substantial commentary on Hesiod. The selection, with a Latin translation printed in parallel text facing the Greek, was based on the earlier compilations of Henry Stephen, published in 1566 and of Jean Crispin, published in 1600. Winterton dedicated his work to Archbishop Laud, presumably out of personal gratitude for his part in helping Winterton to obtain his Cambridge degree. Some incident of unfitting conduct in December 1631, thought to have been a theological debate in hall, had set the authorities of Kings against him and a succession of pleas to grant him his degree had been refused. It was finally Archbishop Laud’s intervention in December 1633 that, within a fortnight, resulted in Winterton’s being granted his degree. Following this setback, Winterton’s Greek metrical version of the aphorisms of Hippocrates was published to such acclaim that he was appointed as regius professor of physic in 1635. His intention had been to extend the present volume but his diligence in fulfilling his professorial duties to the college prevented his doing so.
Winterton’s edition of the minor Greek poets was very popular, appearing in half a dozen editions into the next century. This is a delightful copy of a late seventeenth century edition, bound in contemporary full vellum with a distinctive armorial device - half man, half beast - gilt in the centre of both covers, within a gilt border. Holes in the boards suggest an earlier clasp or the use of ties. These are no longer present and the holes have been covered internally by pastedowns, probably in the eighteenth century. The volume was in the collection of the bibliophile Reinhold Dezeimeris (1835-1913), avid collector of Hesiod amongst other, particularly Greek, authors, and bears his pink Latin and Greek printed bookplate on the front pastedown.