- Tag = Continental Books
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.More details Price: £300.00
Mémoires d’une Religieuse,
Ecrits par Elle-Même; et recueillis par M. de L... Première [-Seconde] Partie.
Amsterdam, l’Esclapart & la Veuve Duchesne, 1766.
First Edition. Two volumes in one, 12mo (160 x 89 mm), pp. [iv], xii, 208; [iv], 208, with the half-titles, markings from previous wrappers visible on half-titles, in nineteenth century quarter calf over marbled boards, spines simply decorated in gilt, red and black morocco labels lettered and numbered in gilt, marbled edges, green silk markers, with a slightly later inscription on the front endpaper (perhaps contemporary with the binding) about the nature of the text and its authorship (see below).
Scarce first edition of these false nun’s memoirs, purportedly written by herself, but in fact penned by a cleric, Pierre Charpentier de Longchamps, member of… (more)
Scarce first edition of these false nun’s memoirs, purportedly written by herself, but in fact penned by a cleric, Pierre Charpentier de Longchamps, member of the Académie de la Rochelle. The novel is a tale brimming with intrigue in which the misfortunes and romantic adventures of a young girl are narrated with some gusto. At the end of it all, the heroine undergoes a conversion and becomes a nun.
It was later republished under the title La soeur Adélaïde, ses égaremens et ses vertus, ses foiblesses et son repentir, ouvrage posthume du plus éloquent écrivain de ce siècle, ‘Au Paraclet’, 1785. The reference to the ‘plus éloquent écrivain de ce siècle’ on the title page was intended to pass the work off as if by Rousseau, no doubt to cash in on his saleability (see Barbier IV 508, 'on a voulu passer cet ouvrage comme etant de J.J. Rousseau').
A previous owner has made the following observation in a neat hand: ‘il est assez singulier qu’un ecclésiastique, l’abbé de Longchamps, membre de l’Académie de la Rochelle, ait composé, avec un soin complaisant, ce roman d’amour, dont quelques tableaux sont d’une grande nudité’.
MMF 66.31; Gay III, 154 (giving 1725, which MMF suggest is an error for the 1785 edition); Cioranescu 40816.
OCLC lists Maryland, Texas and BN (Marie Antoinette’s copy).More details Price: £650.00
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.
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
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
ou les Aventures du Comte de Walter. Tome Premier [-Deuxième].
Paris, Desenne, 1792.
Second Edition. Two volumes in one, 12mo, (163 x 92 mm), engraved frontispiece to each volume and pp. [iv], iv, 124,  contents; [iv], 117,  contents, , in contemporary mottled calf, joints restored, spine gilt in compartments, orange morocco label lettered in gilt, red edges.
A scarce novel first published earlier the same year under a false ‘Philadelphie’ imprint. Set in Paris and provincial France, the novel is concerned with… (more)
A scarce novel first published earlier the same year under a false ‘Philadelphie’ imprint. Set in Paris and provincial France, the novel is concerned with the travels, misfortunes, entanglements and romantic adventures of the hero, Paulin, ‘un coquin charmant’ and the Comte de Walter. Full of incident, the novel includes an ambush, kidnappings, a hermit, mistaken identities, touching heroics and faithful lovers, who are happily reunited in the closing chapter.
The author, Charles François Grandville, was a prominent actor who had a successful career at the Comédie-Française throughout the 1820s. This is his only published work, written as a young man who describes himself as a ’Comédien du Boulevard’. The work is prefaced by a ‘Conversation sur l’Auteur et son Roman’, in which two young girls, Claire and Rose, discuss the novel. Rose has been reading the book and is half in love with its hero, Paulin. She eventually persuades Claire, who dislikes reading, to go to the bookseller and buy a copy before it sells out and she is forced to wait for a second edition.
OCLC records one copy at the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek and one in Poland only.
MMF 92.17; see Cioranescu 31865.More details Price: £400.00
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.
Politica de Dios,
y Govierno de Christo, Sacada de la Sagrada Escritura, para acierto de Rey, y Reyno en sus Acciones. Por Don Francisco de Quevedo Villegas, Cavallero del Orden de Santiago, Senor de la Torre de Juan Abad.
Madrid, Joseph Rodriguez de Escobar, 1729.
4to, (208 x 142mm), pp. [xvi], 333,  table of contents, text heavily browned in part, but externally wonderfully fresh in later eighteenth century English half calf over marbled boards, spine gilt in compartments, red morocco label lettered in gilt, the Macclesfield copy with blind stamps, shelf marks and the South Library bookplate.
An attractive copy of a scarce edition of this major political essay by Quevedo, first published in 1626. This edition is published by the same… (more)
An attractive copy of a scarce edition of this major political essay by Quevedo, first published in 1626. This edition is published by the same Confraternity of St. John the Evangelist who also published an edition of his works in the same year.
‘The treatise attempts to establish the theoretical groundwork for a governmental system based on Christian ideals. The best form of government, according to Quevedo, is a monarchy, one whose authority is absolute because it issues from divine will. The king should govern using Christ as his supreme model. Much attention is paid to the qualities required of the king’s counselors, they being probably as important as the king himself. Quevedo rejects tyrannicide as the solution for an evil monarch, choosing instead to present the latter as a form of divine punishment which must be suffered in silence. The work contains few truly original ideas, its significance stemming principally from the mastery of its style as well as the great popularity it achieved’ (Bleiberg, Dictionary of the Literature of the Iberian Peninsula, II, p. 1336).
OCLC lists Columbia, DLC, Penn State and Dibam Biblioteca National de Chile.
Promenades de Monsieur de Clairenville.
Où l’on trouve une vive peinture des Passions des hommes, avec des Histoires curieuses & véritables sur chaque sujet. Par Mr. D***.
Third Edition. 12mo, (162 x 93 mm), pp. [iv], 362,  table of contents, in contemporary mottled calf, spine gilt in compartments, red morocco label lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers, red speckled edges, from the library of Claude Lebédel.
A delightful anonymous work in which narratives and philosophical digression are happily mixed. Consisting of a total of eight ‘Promenades’, each of which is loosely… (more)
A delightful anonymous work in which narratives and philosophical digression are happily mixed. Consisting of a total of eight ‘Promenades’, each of which is loosely intended to elucidate one aspect of human passion. In the author’s brief introduction, he laments that the only explanation for the prevailing morality and behaviour is that men have become children. ‘La plûpart des hommes ont aujourd’hui abandonné les lectures sérieuses & instructives, parce que l’application qu’elles demandent, se trouve absolument incompatible, avec l’esprit de volupté qui les domine’ (Préface de l’Auteur, p. iii).
In the first Promenade, Monsieur de Clairenville meets a knight of Malta and falls into conversation with him. The knight tells him of his aventures, including the tragic story of the beautiful Sophie. The second Promenade, subtitled ‘Sur les Passions’, contains an essay on the education of youth and a tale about a young Paris lawyer. The third Promenade, ‘Sur l’Usage des Passions’, includes a prayer to Saint Christopher, a discussion of Jesuits and monks and a section on Reason. The fourth is ‘Sur l’Amour’, with reflections and a story of a young lady who could not cure herself of this malady. The fifth, ‘Sur la Colère’, gives the history of Leonore and Olympia. The sixth Promenade provides a discussion of Avarice, with a strange miscellany of reflections on France, trade in Mississippi and John Law, concluding with ‘Histoire curieuse d’un Avare, qui avoit beaucoup gagné au Mississipi’. Seven is Ambition, with the tale of a persecuted cleric and eight is Hatred, which begins with a conversation between Monsieur de Clairenville and a Carmelite, outlines the author’s general system for understanding this passion and concludes with the final story, ‘Histoire de la Comtesse de.... les excès où elle se porte pour satisfaire sa Haine contre son Mari’.
First published in 1723 (see Jones p. 35) under the slightly different title of Promenades de Mr. de Clairenville, and then republished in 1743 and the present edition under the present title. It was republished in the first volume of the Bibliothèque universelle des romans, April 1782. Despite its evident popularity, with three editions spanning a number of years, this unusual work is now very scarce.
OCLC lists the 1723 edition at BN, Berlin, Toronto and Texas; the 1743 edition at Berlin, Newberry, Harvard, Tulane, Kansas and Boston PL and the present edition at Vanderbilt only.
Jones p. 35; MMF 55.R.6.
Receuil des plus belles pieces des Poetes françois
depuis Villon jusqu'à Benserade. Tome Premier... [-Sixième].
Paris, Compagnie des Libraires, 1752.
Six volumes, small 12mo, pp. [xi], [i], 322; [ii], 314; [ii], 292; [ii], 312; [ii], 296; [ii], 260,  approbation, in contemporary mottled calf, blind rule to covers, flat spines elaborately gilt in compartments, red and black morocco labels lettered and numbered in gilt, with the contemporary bookplate of 'G.D.M.', a member of the Guillebon family, and the typographic booklabel of Madame Guillebon, la jeune, circa 1800: an excellent set with a nice provenance.
An excellent copy of this charming poetical miscellany, known as the 'Recueil de Barbin' and first published in 1692. It contains the major poems of… (more)
An excellent copy of this charming poetical miscellany, known as the 'Recueil de Barbin' and first published in 1692. It contains the major poems of Ronsard, Villon, Marot, du Bellay and Baïf, as well as a host of minor poems by these and numerous less well-known authors. This expanded version (the original was in five volumes) is one of two printings of the collection in the eighteenth century, both published in 1752, reflecting an interesting resurgence in the study of early French poetry. The miscellany is arranged in six volumes, by author, with a brief biographical notice on each poet. The biographies are ascribed to Fr. Barbin, son of Claude Barbin, the great bookseller who first published the collection. This copy has a good provenance, coming from the de Guillebon family, with contemporary heraldic bookplates and a later booklabel of Madame Guillebon, the younger, circa 1800.
'Une anthologie de la poésie française faite par les classiques éveille l'intérêt; de plus elle a connu un grand succès... On ne saurait exagérer son influence' (p. 109, _Dictionnaire des Lettres Françaises, Fayard, 1996).
Gay III 978.More details Price: £450.00
Recherches sur l'origine du Despotisme Oriental.
Ouvrage Posthume de Mr. B.I.D.P.E.C...
Londres, Seyffert, 1762.
Second Edition; First Edition. Two volumes, 12mo, pp. xviii, -264; xiv, -216, folding engraved plate at ii, 94, in contemporary mottled calf, spines gilt in compartments with red morocco labels lettered and numbered in gilt, all edges red.
An important work, edited by Holbach, and first published in 1761, Boulanger's Recherches sur l'Origine du Despotisme Oriental was intended as an introduction and key… (more)
An important work, edited by Holbach, and first published in 1761, Boulanger's Recherches sur l'Origine du Despotisme Oriental was intended as an introduction and key to Montesquieu's Esprit des Loix. An important and widely-read treatise, it was incorporated in shortened form in the Encyclopédie, under the title 'Oeconomie politique'. It is offered here complete with the first edition of its companion volume, the so-called continuation by Boulanger, entitled Dissertation sur Elie et Enoch. The two volumes are uniformly bound and the second work comes complete with both the half-titles, the 'Dissertations' half-title and the additional half-title which links it to the Recherches, this latter being more often discarded. Included also in this volume (pp. 159-216) is Benjamin Stillingfleet's Traité Mathématique sur le Bonheur with an introductory letter by the translator, Etienne de Silhouette.
Recherches: see Cioranesco 13420.
Dissertation: Cioranesco 13421.
Revolution de l’Amerique.
Par M. l’Abbé Raynal, auteur de l’Histoire Philosophique et Politique des Etablissemens, et du Commerce des Européans dans les deux Indes.
Same year as the first edition. 8vo, pp. viii, 173, , D2 cut along the margin with loss, but nowhere near text, contemporary ownership inscription of ‘B.Imbert fils’ on the title page, in contemporary mottled calf, flat spine gilt in compartments with green morocco label lettered in gilt, some slight erosion to boards but generally an attractive copy.
A scarce pirated edition of the Abbé Raynal’s popular work which ran to several editions in 1781, many of which bear the ‘Londres’ imprint. In… (more)
A scarce pirated edition of the Abbé Raynal’s popular work which ran to several editions in 1781, many of which bear the ‘Londres’ imprint. In the present case, the Londres imprint is probably false; ESTC suggests a French or Dutch printing.
ESTC n12895, at the BL, Cambridge, Reading, Amsterdam, American Philosophical Society, Brown, Gonzaga, Harvard, Lehigh, Princeton, San Antonio College and the Lilly Library.
See Cioranescu 52363 and 52364; Sabin 68103.More details Price: £300.00
ou les Effets de la Haine, de l’Amour et de l’Amitié, Première [Seconde] Partie.
‘Londres’ & Paris, Robin, 1765.
First Edition. Two volumes, 12mo (178 x 108 mm), pp. [iii]-xvi, 122; [ii], 142, , the second volume stained throughout in the lower corner, wanting the half titles, uncut throughout in the original pale blue wrappers, rather tatty, headcaps chipped and lower part of the spine largely missing, white paper label across the top of the spine, lettered and numbered in ink, small circular shelf marks on the lower spines.
An unsophisticated copy of this delightful and very scarce sentimental novel which charts the fortunes of the eponymous heroine who despite her modest birth -… (more)
An unsophisticated copy of this delightful and very scarce sentimental novel which charts the fortunes of the eponymous heroine who despite her modest birth - ‘d’une petite naissance’ - is elevated in society by the intervention of generous benefactors. It was republished under several different titles, L’Education de l’Amour, followed in 1769 and finally Agathe et Clairfons ou les effets de la haine, de l’amour et de l’amitié, 1796.
The author, an officer in the cavalry who went under the name Desboulmiers, was a popular novelist ‘connu comme littérateur dans le genre léger où il a fait preuve d’un certain esprit’ (DLF). He 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.
ESTC t220632, listing BL and BN only.
MMF 65.26.More details Price: £1,000.00