Justin Croft Antiquarian Books Ltd

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Le Somnambule, Oeuvres posthumes en prose et en vers, ou l’on trouve L’histoire générale d’une Isle très-singulière, découverte aux grandes Indes en 1784.

BEAUHARNAIS, Fanny, comtesse de, attributed to]. First edition, usually attributed to Fanny de Beauharnais, the popular salon host and aunt by marriage to the future Empress Joséphine. A collection of essays, a novella, a dramatic piece and several poems, it derives its name from the contemporary vogue for 'somnabulism' or mesmerism, popular in the last quarter of the century in spite of the rationalism of the so-called Enlightenment.Apart from the comedy Les Illuminés, an overt satire on mesmerism, the most interesting part is the utopian novella, Relation très-véritable d'une île nouvellement découvert. A young chevalier, a collector of natural history speciments and other curios, take a trip to the Indes in search of the wisdom of the Brahmins. He takes an aerostatic balloon with him and finds himself on a desert island ('L'Île des Coctoiers') of which he makes an aerial survey. It is inhabited only by women and girls, whose rank appears to be denoted by the possession, respectively, of hair or feathers. He is willingly captured by some of them, who believe him to be one of their own kind, not knowing the meaning of 'man' or 'woman'. He is taken to their leader, where it becomes apparent that not only do they have no concept of sex or gender, nor concomitantly of happiness or sadness. They each live for many hundreds of years, and their queen is periodally reborn, phoenix-like. Though charmed by the beauty of the islanders, the chevalier soon tires of the monotony of their lives and sails away in his balloon.Not in fact posthumous, the entire framing of the book is ironic and satirical, and the author claims it to have been written by a friend in a state of somnambulism under a specially magnetised tree in the Champs Elysées, giving a peculiarly acute insight into the secrets of the hearts of men: 'Mon plus intime ami, dont je donne ici l'ouvrage, le hasard le conduisit sous cet arbre merveilleux où il s'assit. Mon ami se trouva dans un état de bonheur dont lui seul pourrait rendre compte.)Il voit, depuis ce moment, tous les corps diaphanes, et pénètre les plus secrètes pensées ; mais je n'en abuse pas de peur d'augmenter le nombre de divorces. Je pourrais indiquer l'arbre en question; mais tout bien calculé, je crois qu'il ne faut pas que les hommes en général, et les maris en particulier, deviennent trop pénétrans [sic]; peut-être ferait-on bien de demander la permission d'abattre cet arbre.' (Avertissement) 8vo (205 × 135 mm), pp. [2], vi, 312. Woodcut device to title. Uncut in contemporary blue pastepaper wrappers. Rubbed, but an appealing copy. [Barbier, IV, p. 525; Cioranescu 10294 ('fausse attribution').]
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The Queen’s Matrimonial Ladder.

GEORGE IV and Queen CAROLINE). [George CRUIKSHANK]. A ladder-shaped folding toy - rare graphic satire on the separation of George IV and Queen Caroline published after the opening of the 'trial' of Queen Caroline on 17 August 1820. It was printed to be sold with a popular pamphlet of the same name, which ran to numerous editions that year, but the two are rarely found preserved together, and the toy/print very rare (lacking in most library copies). This copy has never been folded into a ladder and is loose, as sold, in its original plain paper wrapper. The form of the print is based on another contemporary paper toy (The Matrimonial Ladder) on the ups and downs of marriage, which was being offered by sellers of books, prints and novelties in 1820.'George IV's determination, following his succession to the throne in 1820, to finally obtain a divorce from his estranged wife, Caroline of Brunswick, sparked an opposition campaign, both in Parliament and in the country, which threatened the survival of Lord Liverpool's Tory administration. It also led to extensive proceedings in the House of Lords, which took on the appearance of a state trial. On 5 June 1820 Caroline, who had been living abroad for the past six years, arrived unexpectedly in England to claim her right to be crowned queen. The government, under intense pressure from the king, reluctantly agreed to introduce a bill of pains and penalties into the House of Lords, which would have annulled the royal marriage and deprived Caroline of her title. She thereupon became the unlikely beneficiary of a wave of indignant public sympathy, being perceived as a 'wronged woman' who was bravely struggling to uphold her rights against a callous political establishment' ('The Queen Caroline Affair, 1820' in The History of Parliament, online). Woodcut on stiff paper (310 × 65 mm). Verso slightly soiled. Original plain paper wrapper (torn). [BM Satires 13808]
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Les Soirées du Palais Royal; recueil d’aventures galantes et délicates, publié par un invalide du Palais Royal.

CUISIN, P., attributed to]. First edition, rare, of this collection of racy tales from the Palais Royal, the fabled European capital of libertinism. Framed as a series of initiatory narratives on the perils of loose women and gambling, Les Soirées actually contains several anecdotes of sociological interest. One involves a bragging libertine husband, who claims his wife would never cuckold him, only for the narrator to seduce her and to contrive a fitting punishment for his boasts. He arranges adjoining private rooms in a favourite Palais Royale restaurant, sending the husband to one with a complicit mistress, while he himself takes the libertine's wife to another. As the couples make love, an opening between the two rooms allows them to see just enough of their neighbours to further inflame their desire. Only on leaving the chamber does the husband realise that it was his wife he has seen in flagrante in the other room, and with his friend. After an understandable outburst, a philosophical discussion ensues on the equivalence of female and male desire and morality (see Counter, The Amorous Restoration: Love, Sex, and Politics in Early Nineteenth-Century France, 2016, p. 137).The two plates were evidently printed on the same sheet, appearing as a folding frontispiece in some copies.Anonymous, it is attributed to Cuisin, who specialised in Palais Royale titillation and produced many similar works. The printer, the widow Jeunehomme is an interesting figure, one of a handful of female printers in Paris at this point and a Bonapartist who was later imprisoned for political reasons (Dictionnaire des femmes libraires en France, 1470-1870). 12mo (135 × 90 mm), pp. 144, bound without half-title (pp. 1-2), plus 2 engraved plates, one a frontispiece. A few minor stains. Uncut. Quarter cloth with marbled boards, c. 1900. A very good copy. [Worldcat locates copies at Bn (without half-title), BL (with half-title) and Johns Hopkins (also 1815, but 'Second edition', perhaps an error, confounding this work with an earlier work with a similar title)]
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Les Sérails de Londres, ou Les Amusements nocturnes. Contenant les scènes qui y sont journellement représentées, les portraits et la description des courtisannes les plus célèbres, et les caractères de ceux qui les fréqentent. Traduit de l’anglais.

NOCTURNAL REVELS, in French). First edition in French of Nocturnal Revels: or, the History of King's-Place, and other modern Nunneries (1779), a guide to the brothels of London. Both the English editions and this French edition are very rare. Though jovial and sometimes exaggerated Nocturnal Revels ranks with Fanny Hill and Harris's List amongst the most important sources for sexual culture in eighteenth-century London. It purported to be the work of 'A Monk of Saint Francis', a reference to the notorious Monks of Medmenham (later Dashwood's Hell-Fire Club) but its real authorship remains unknown. The focus is on the Mayfair street of King's Place, where women such as Charlotte Hayes founded successful establishments catering to a wealthy and aristocratic clientele, and the narrative contains extended biographies of a range of female sex workers, including Charlotte Hayes herself, Lucy Cooper, Jane Goadby, Lucy Palmer, Kitty Nelson, Nelly Elliot, Madame Dunbery and 'Negresse Harriot' (An Afro-Jamaican immigrant). The second volume contains the intriguing story of Julius 'Othello' Soubise, the Caribbean-born London man-of-fashion, who attempted to lighten his skin to win the affections of a 'Miss G-'.The English editions had been unillustrated, but each volume of Serails de Londres includes a fine frontispiece with scenes from the fashionable brothel interiors. 4 vols bound in 2, 12mo (125 × 70 mm), pp. xxiv, 150; [iv], 152; [iv], 146; [iv], 160, including half-titles, plus 4 engraved frontispieces, various mispaginations, mainly to the first volume. Red morocco gilt by Pouillet, c. 1900, gilt edges. Joints slightly rubbed, the upper of vol. 1 slightly tender (but secure). A very good copy. [Cohen-De Ricci 9950; Gay III, 1104-5; cf. Ashbee I ('Index Librorum Prohibitorum'), p. 321. Worldcat records copies at BL, Bn, University of Erfurt and State Library of Victoria only (there is also a copy at the Lewis Walpole Library, Yale). It is almost as rare as the English original (of which ESTC lists 4 copies of the first edition and 2 of the second edition).]
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Physiologie de la lorette ? Vignettes de Gavarny ?

ALHOY, Maurice. A nice pairing of physiologies, of the courtesan and the married man, illustrative of 'the craze that swept Paris in the early 1840s for a series of small illustrated volumes marketed under the general title of physiologies [looking back, perhaps, to Brillat-Savarin's bestselling Physiologie du goût (1826) and Balzac's Physiologie du marriage (1830)]. Some 120 different physiologies were issued by various Parisian publishers between 1840 and 1842 (ranging alphabetically from the Physiologie de l'amant to the Physiologie du voyageur), and it is estimated that approximately half a million copies of these pocket-sized books were printed during the same two-year span' (Sieburth, p. 163).Designed for mass consumption, these satirical guides to particular social types were based on 'the witty interaction of image and text, drawing and caption, seeing and reading ? Byproducts of the recent technological advances in printing and paper manufacturing which had made illustrated books more commercially feasible and analogous to the various dioramas and panoramas which enjoyed a considerable popularity during the period, these illustrated anthologies of urban sites and mores catered to the public's desire to see its social space as a stage or gallery whose intelligibility was guaranteed both by its visibility as image and its legibility as text ?'Quickly produced and marketed, consumed and discarded, ? the physiologies (like the sensational tabloids or canards hawked on Paris streetcorners of the period) are early instances of the cheap, throwaway "instant book" whose appeal lies in its very topicality and ephemerality' (op. cit., pp. 165-7). [bound with:]KOCK, Paul de. Physiologie de l'homme marié ? Illustrations de Marckl. Paris: Jules Laisné ? Aubert et Cie ? Lavigne ? 1841. 2 works bound in one vol., 16mo (122 × 81 mm), pp. [3]-127, [1]; 128, [2]; some light browning, light staining in gutter of initial couple of leaves in the second work; contemporary ribbed cloth, spine lettered gilt. [Richard Sieburth, 'Same difference: the French Physiologies, 1840-1842', Notebooks in Cultural Analysis (Duke UP, 1984), pp. 163-200.]
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Memoires de Mad[am]e Vanfeld adressés à mad[am]e la marquise de Ronceval

AUNILLON, Pierre Charles Sabiot, Abbé. L[ouis] Vigée, illustrator]. A contemporary manuscript, probably authorial, of an unpublished novel, aptly described by the French literary euphemism as 'plus que galant'. By the colourful abbé Aunillon, who was evidently more interested by the intrigues of the salon and the coulisses of the Parisian theatres than the contemplations of the cloister, Memoires de Madame Vanfeld narrates the story of the corruption of a young woman and of her subsequent scandalous exploits, almost invariably at the hands of a series of depraved clerics. Told in the words of Madame Vanfeld herself and addressed to a confidant, the marquise de Ronceval, the novel is one of illicit liaisons in convents and country houses, and of stolen moments out of sight of family and convent superiors. It is never precisely explicit but is always entirely transparent. A preface describes it as a roman à clef, with names changed, and a list of the original characters consigned to the flames. A slightly later editor has made numerous corrections and emendations to this manuscript, including changing most of the names once more. A note at the end in a later hand, suggests that the action has at least some basis in fact, pointing to correspondences between at least one episode and passages in Aunillon' Mémoires published in 1808.The illustrator Louis Vigée (1715 - 1767) who supplied the four fine illustrations here was a French portraitist, fan painter, artist in pastels and a member of the Académie de Saint-Luc (and a friend of Vernet and Greuze). He is perhaps most notable as the father of the painter Élisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun. He was also a correspondent of Madame de Graffigny, and a transcript of a letter from her, having read the Memoires is found at the end of the second volume here.Aunillon (1684-1760) was descended from a prominent Anglo-Catholic family (said to have changed their name from O'Neill to Aunillon). A fascinating figure he seems to have turned his back on the church to concentrate on writing for the theatre. He wrote several plays, a fairy tale, at least one other novel and is said to have been a permanent fixture in the Parisian theatres, where he befriended the actresses and became their confidant. He also appears, in 1746, to have acted as a French secret agent in the Rhineland. Manuscript, 2 vols, 4to (240 × 175 mm), pp. vii, [1], 330; [2], 331-711, [3], plus engraved portrait and 4 frontispieces in pen, ink and wash (3 of which are captioned 'Dessinée par L. Vigé'), calligraphic titles and headings. Mainly in one neat mid eighteenth-century hand, corrections and emendations in another, slightly later notes to end leaves in the same hand or another. Contemporary mottled calf, marbled edges, rebacked in the nineteenth century with gilt panelled spines. Later bookplates of Th. de Jongue. [The manuscript corresponds with that described in the sale of the library of A.L.S. Bérard, Paris, 7 May 1829, lot 1088, where the manuscript corrections are described as being in Aunillon's autograph.]
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Nouveaux Contes des fées. Par Madame D * *.

AULNOY, Marie-Catherine Le Jumel de Barneville, baronne d']. An exceptionally rare early edition of an important fairy tale collection. Aulnoy's fairy tales (including those here) were fist published in four volumes as Les Contes des fées in 1697-8 by Barbin in Paris. They were followed by four more volumes of new tales (also printed in Paris), the Contes nouveaux ou les Fées à la mode, printed by Catherine Legras and Nicolas Gosselin in 1698. Copies of any of these volumes or sets are now almost impossible to find (even in libraries, and they are habitually described as 'lost' or 'untraceable', though Volker Schröder of Princeton has recently traced the few known copies and fragments in a series of posts on his blog, Analecta). Pirated editions bearing a false 'Trévoux' imprint appeared a few months later, with unrelated woodcuts from another source, and again surviving in less than a handful of copies.These editions were followed by the Uytwerf La Haye editions appearing between 1698 and 1700, which appear to be only fractionally less rare than the first editions and entitled: Les Contes de fées (1698) and our Nouveaux Contes des fées (1700). The Nouveaux contes comprises the tales from volume 3 and 4 of the Paris Barbin editions, namely:I. Preface; Don Gabriel Ponce de Leon, nouvelle Espagnolle; Le mouton; Finette cendron; Fortunée; II. Babiolle; Don Fernand de Toledo; Le Nain jaune; Suite de Don Fernand de Toledo; Serpentin vert. The fine engraved headpiece illustrations are reproduced from the originals in the Barbin editions, but the engraved frontispieces are entirely new plates by Jan van Vianen, showing the striking figure of a female story teller (in the guise of Minerva) surrounded by fashionably-dressed listeners and with scenes from tales played out in the clouds above her head.Of the tales gathered in Nouveaux Contes des fées, Le Nain jaune (The Yellow Dwarf) was easily the most enduring, perhaps Aulnoy's most significant literary legacy- appearing, as it did, in numerous European versions both in print and on the stage. A tale of mothers, daughters, suitors and matrimony, Le Nain jaune is the tragic tale of the restless and spoilt princess Toute-belle who rejects her noble suitors and ends up betrayed by her mother and betrothed to the hideous Yellow Dwarf, later dying while attempting to escape her fate. Its afterlife was considerable, in literature and beyond. A French card game is named after it, and it became a popular subject for the stage, especially in England in various adaptations of the Mother Bunch story, and was retold notably by Andrew Laing in The Blue Fairy Book. 2 vols in one, 12mo (138 × 70 mm), pp. [2], 244; [2], 210, plus engraved frontispieces to each volume (the same plate, as called for, by Jan Van Vianen). 10 engraved illustrations to the head of each tale, woodcut devices to titles, woodcut and typographical ornaments. Contemporary sprinkled sheep, gilt panelled spine. Minor expert repair to first frontispiece and title and the binding. English ownership inscription to first title: 'G. Morgan 1756'. A very good copy. [Worldcat: Kansas and Princeton (the Cotsen copy) only outside Europe, both lacking the first frontispiece and the latter noticeably trimmed. Earlier editions are famously rare, surviving in only on a small handful of copies between them.]
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Point de lendemain, conte.

DENON, Dominique Vivant]. First edition in book form, printed for private circulation, of one of the great erotic classics of French literature, exceptionally rare. Bound in contemporary blue morocco with a rare additional engraved autoportrait by the author (a plate known in a handful of copies and in no other copy of Point de Lendemain).One summer night, a married woman initiates an erotic encounter with a young ingénu ? Point de Lendemain is a sophisticated and nuanced story of mutual seduction. 'In merely thirty or so pages, the erotic conte [tale] Point de lendemain ? captures the libertine essence of the French eighteenth century. It is often read, with a fondness not far from nostalgia, as a vignette for a certain idea of libertinage. With Point de lendemain, Denon celebrates the subtle seductions and the intense voluptés of vicomtes and marquises, set in rococo landscapes à la Watteau or in lavish interiors worthy of Du Barry. Point de lendemain is as graceful as a painting by Fragonard ?'(Marine Ganofsky). This 1812 text has been reprinted many times, usually with plates making explicit what is so subtly left implicit in the original. In its first incarnation Point de Lendemain appeared in an issue of the Mélanges littéraires ou Journal des dames in 1777 under the initials 'M.D.G.O.D.R.' but was revised and republished (anonymously) by Denon in this definitive edition of 1812, the version in which it is known today. It was printed in very small numbers (perhaps just 25) and privately distributed. Copies of this edition are highly prized, both in private and public collections and we find just 4 copies in public collections worldwide: the Bibliothèque nationale copy only is listed in the Catalogue collectif de France, while OCLC/Worldcat lists copies at Yale and the University of California, Berkeley only. There is also a copy in the Bodleian Library. 24mo (130 × 70 mm), pp. [4], 52. Engraved portrait frontispiece and one plate by Normand after Lafitte. Pale foxing to frontis and title, otherwise crisp and fresh. Contemporary blue straight grain morocco, gilt panelled spine, lettered direct, panelled sides, yellow silk endpapers and ribbon, gilt edges by Lefèbvre. Very light rubbing to extremities, but a delightful copy. [L'Enfer de la Bibliotheque 57; Brunet II, 599; Diesbach-Soultrait 40; Monglond IX, 1167 (the two copies listed, including that of the Reserve, do not contain a plate). No Tomorrow, translation by Lydia Davis, introduction by Peter Brooks (NYRB, 2009). Also see the excellent recent analysis by Marine Ganofsky, Point de Lendemain (Literary Encyclopedia, University of Saint Andrews, online)]
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The Sorrows of Seduction, in eight Delineations: with other Poems ? Third Edition, considerably improved.

MACKENZIE, ?William]. Third edition. with new illustrations. Originally divided into six delineations (1805), two were added in the second edition (1806). Jackson attributes the present work to one William Mackenzie, though it was advertised in the Monthly Magazine as being by a J. Mackenzie in 1817. Reviews were generally lukewarm, the Critical Review dismissing it as a bit of female fluff: 'Its title its passport, this poem will probably form part of the furniture of many a lady's dressing-room. With that let the author be content.' As if to further this point, the only positive review we were able to locate came from The Lady's Monthly Museum, which stated that the little volume 'exhibits great elegance of taste, and warmth of feeling ? and has many pathetic and beautiful passages.' 12mo (157 × 97 mm), pp. viii, [9]-159, [1], with stipple-engraved frontispiece by Alais after Buck and one additional plate by Allen after Corbould; some light browning, small ink stain to upper margin of frontispiece, bleeding onto the title-page, and upper margin of second plate, small chip to title, not affecting text; contemporary half calf, worn, joints cracked, upper board all but loose, surface wear to boards, head and tail of spine chipped. [Jackson, p. 345. COPAC lists 4 copies (Bodley, BL, Cambridge, NLS), to which WorldCat adds 3 (McMaster, NYPL, Toronto).]
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The Breakfast Book: A Cookery-Book for the Morning Meal, or Breakfast Table; comprising Bills of Fare, Pasties, and Dishes adapted for all Occasions.

HILL, Georgiana]. First edition. Hill's numerous books were among the most popular cookery books of the nineteenth-century, though now less well known than Mrs Beeton. The Breakfast Book is a wonderfully comprehensive to the middle class English Victorian breakfast, eaten across the British Empire, often consisting of several courses and a stomach-groaning spread of meats, fish and pastries, enlivened with fruit. Includes bills of fare fir set breakfasts for eight to twelve people. 'Brain cakes', beefsteaks, caviar, prawns and oysters all feature.She published at least 21 books, almost all anonymous, from The Gourmet's Guide to Rabbit Cooking (1859) to How to Cook Vegetables in One Hundred Different Ways (1868) and numerous articles. 'Hill's titles reveal her particular approach, which was that of the specialist and expert, at a time when the fashion was more for the compendium style of recipe collection, most famously characterized by Beeton's Book of Household Management (1861). She drew extensively upon examples of different approaches to food and cooking elsewhere in Europe' (Rich in Oxford DNB). 8vo (158 × 100 mm), pp. [iii]-xii, 139, [1], without half-title (apparently bound thus). Original publisher's blindstamped green cloth. Slightly rubbed, with a little more wear to head and foot of spine, hinges cracked but secure. Early W. H. Smith blindstamps to endpapers, inscriptions to front free endpapers. A very good copy, quite bright.