[Sensational Literature] [True Crime] [Sex Work]
Printed self wraps, stitched at spine. Measuring 220 x 140mm and complete in 64 pages. Some rubbing along spine, and scattered foxing to preliminary and terminal leaves; toned throughout, else clean. A scarce piece sensationalizing the tragic affairs and subsequent suicides of Sarah and Maria Williams, OCLC reports fewer than twenty copies with libraries, with this being the only example on the market. We've been unable to determine whether the tragic story of the Williams twins is, in fact, historically true. What is clear whether the narrative is fiction or non-fiction, is that the damage caused to women and their lives as a result of their social positions and sex had a wide audience and attracted a variety of readers -- some who hoped to judge the parties involved, some who sought the experience of empathy and catharsis, some with prurient fantasies, and some who simply wanted a thrill. According to this story, Sarah and Maria Williams were firstborn daughters to a loving and prosperous middle-class New York family and that like any "perfect victims," they combined "sincerity, kindness, and judgement" with "the bloom of loveliness, grace, and innocence." Chaste and well behaved in their boarding-school days, their lives took a turn at twenty. During their father's extended absence on business, Maria began receiving visits from Mr. Knight, an insidious but well-recommended brother of an old schoolmate. Seduced by him into a fraudulent marriage, Maria is ultimately separated from her family and forced into sex work for his profit. Rising eventually to "a high position among those of her kind.as a prostitute of superior grade," Maria operated on her own and refused to return to the Williams household despite Sarah's urgining; being degraded by her old neighbors and parents when she could be respected by her own was too much to bear. Sarah's insistence on maintaining a relationship with her twin and visiting her disreputable home led to her own reputation being cast into doubt. And when Sarah's intended eventually fell for, engaged in keeping, and ultimately got pregnant Maria, all participants in the affair ended their own lives. In many ways, the sensationalized stories of these twins reveal how no woman is safe and how no woman can rely on her chastity to protect her socially. Though Maria and Sarah were identical and took opposite paths, their violent ends wind up being identical and equally scandalous.
Twain, Mark [Samuel L. Clemens]
True first edition, preceding the US edition by approximately four months. A Nearly Fine copy in the original red cloth stamped in gilt and black. Slight fading to the spine, short tear to the contents (leaf xiii-xiv) professionally repaired, otherwise an excellent copy overall. With the correct, first issue ads, dated October 1884. Housed in a custom clamshell box. Recounting the adventures of Huckleberry Finn as he flees his own abusive father and aids Jim in his escape from slavery, Twain's novel has been praised for its "distinctly American voice," putting at its center two common people who find an uncommon friendship. "Today perhaps the novel's greatest significance lies in its conception of childhood, as a time of risk, discovery, and adventure. Huck is no innocent: He lies, steals, smokes, swears, and skips school. He accepts no authority, not from his father or the Widow Douglas or anyone else. And it is the twin images of a perilous, harrowing odyssey of adventure and perfect freedom from all restraints that so many readers find entrancing" (Mintz). A metaphor for a young and rebellious nation, as well as its individualist inhabitants, Huckleberry Finn defies genre by being simultaneously an adventure story, a road novel, a coming of age tale, an expression of nostalgia for the expansive natural spaces lost to industrialization, and an exploration of race and class. Listed on the American Scholar 100 Best American Novels and one of the 100 Best Novels Written in English. BAL 3415. MacDonnell, 31. Near Fine.
A Near Fine copy overall, bound in early 20th century full crushed morocco with simple blind-rules and small gilt fleurons in the corners. Decorative gilt turn-ins and all edges gilt, plain end papers. Leaves measure 175 x 111 mm. Complete with the original license leaf and the errata leaf: , 111, , 101, . First issue with the misprint on page 67 with "loah" later corrected to "loth." An excellent copy internally, clean and unmarked, but with a handful of short marginal tears and some leaves trimmed a bit tight (no loss to text). One small chip at the crown and slight fading to the spine, otherwise binding in excellent shape. Samson Agonistes with a separate dated title page and new page numbering, but continuous register. A more hopeful conclusion following the devastation depicted in his epic Paradise Lost, the pairing of Paradise Regain'd and Samson Agonistes offered readers two paths to human salvation. Posed as Adam and Eve were with temptation and the opportunity to defy God's commandment, the Son instead maintains his purity and fulfills his duty to sacrifice himself for humanity's original sin. "Paradise Regain'd dramatizes for the reader the inner workings of the mind of Jesus, his perception, and the interplay of faith and reason in his debates with Satan" (Britannica). Though the Son reveals his humanity and his doubts, his ability to perfectly complete his mission is ultimately possible due to his position as God on Earth. Milton counterbalances this ideal with the very problematic, very human hero of Samson Agonistes. Samson's ego, doubt, and depression are relatable to readers who recognize their inability to fully live up to Christ's example; and Samson's efforts to heal and find grace amid tragedy provide a different model marked by imperfection. "Eyeless in Gaza" and at the depths of his fall from grace, Samson narrates his inner thoughts, experiences, and anguish. In doing so, he is able to regenerate himself and regain his faith, "gradually recovering his trust in God, and becoming a free moral agent capable of one final heroic act" of sacrifice (Langer). ESTC R299. Near Fine.
2 volumes, quarto (282 × 225 mm), half title in volume 2 (as called for), bound without the final blanks in each volume: , 510; , 589, [1, blank]. Contemporary tree calf, rebacked, preserving original red morocco spine labels, plain endpapers. Engraved armorial bookplate of the Leigh family ("Tout Vient de Dieu") and two Japanese bookseller's tickets to the front paste-down. Some insect damage to the leather boards, corners worn, light to moderate foxing throughout, mostly in volume 1, a few tears or blemishes, one or two signs of a contemporary reader's engagement with the text; a very good copy overall. Second edition, first published in 1776, of this classic of economic thought, the only other edition to be published in quarto format, one of 500 copies. Long considered a straight reprint, this edition in fact contains "a number of alterations large and small, some providing new information, some correcting matters of fact, some perfecting the idiom, and a large number now documenting references in footnotes" (Todd). Published in the same year as the American Declaration of Independence, Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations was a magnum opus that shaped not only the future of a new republic, but that also urged longstanding sovereign governments to reconsider how and when they regulated markets. Arguing that economic growth comes not from government planning "but as the natural outcome of many people pursuing their own self-interest in the confines of an ordered polity," Smith encouraged economists and political policy-makers to leave free markets to their own operations and focus instead on fulfilling the duties of peace keeping, education, and public infrastructure that they owed their citizenry (The Wall Street Journal). ESTC T95117. Einaudi 5329; Goldsmiths' 11663; Kress B.154; Tribe 15; Vanderblue 3; see also PMM 221. Very Good.
[Coleridge, Samuel Taylor] [Soane, George] Goethe, Johann Wolfgang
First appearance of this controversial translation, over which translation attribution is still debated. Bound in twentieth century full calf with gilt to spine, measuring 279 x 226mm. Bound without half title, otherwise collating complete including frontis and 26 plates (27 plates in all): viii, 86, . A Very Good+ to Near Fine copy with minimal scuffing and wear to corners. Typical light scattered foxing throughout. Small bookbinder's ticket to front pastedown; discrete library ticket to rear pastedown "From the Collection of David & Patricia Corey" (library auctioned 30 May 2018 in Norfolk). In all, an extremely pleasing example of this classic narrative of temptation. Considered the first substantial translation into English of Goethe's work, controversy still exists over who deserves credit for it. Though Coleridge had begun a translation for John Murray in 1814, he declared that it was never completed. "In 1820, when demand was high in England for a translation to accompany Retzsch's iconic illustrations, George Soane answered the call with a series of excerpted captions. He was followed by Daniel Boileau, who contributed to the Boosey edition.both sold out quickly, but Thomas Boosey had initiated plans for a second edition of this version two months before the first edition appeared. He thus turned to Coleridge for 'friendly advice'.The new text was twenty-nine pages longer, and could be bound with the plates or separately as an original publication" (Burwick & McKusick).
[Sex Work] [Social Justice] [Women's Employment] One who has to live the life of the Redlight
One page Typed Letter titled "Letter from Prostitute" and signed in type at the conclusion by "One who has to live the life of the Redlight." Legal sheet measuring 12.25 x 8.25 inches with text to recto only. Vertical and horizontal fold lines. Contemporary pencil notation "Copy" to upper margin. An example of an anonymous sex worker's advocacy for those within her trade, for young women at risk of being forced into her trade, and against the corrupt political and economic structures that protect wealthy men from accountability for their own actions. It is unlikely that history will discover the name of the author of this letter; but in submitting it to Sonoma County District Attorney Rolf Thompson, she participated in a wider and growing trend of sex workers advocating for themselves, raising awareness about their reasons for engaging in sex work, and demanding more meaningful systemic change from state and local officials targeting and punishing them. From 1848-1917, as California public policies increasingly secularized, sex work became a topic of contentious debate. "Protestant leaders sought to address causes of prostitution.Catholic leaders attempted to remove prostitutes from public view. Jewish leaders addressed prostitution both in terms of public health and also in answer to fears about illegal international slavery operations" (Bourn). Conservative politicians, meanwhile, engaged in stoking fears of "white slavery," presenting extreme "tales of violently raped virgins" as a means to shut down brothels (Keire). Across these approaches, there was no consistent effort to identify the racial, gendered, and economic factors that contributed to individuals entering the sex trade. The present letter excoriates the District Attorney for hypocrisy in extremely specific terms. "Kind sir; I see you will wish to prosecute the red-light district," she begins. "To have less prostitutes in the state, and for girls to commence to be more refined, you lawyers with families should sow the seed. Here a few days ago a lot of bankers and married men were arrested for giving liquor to girls and got off nicely with small fines." She identifies those men's wealth and reputation as reasons why they could go free, their reputations untarnished; meanwhile, young women and underage girls suffer the consequences. "I say if the District Lawyer does not wish to make trouble for the rich, there will always be a red-light.Bring these bankers, hop buyers, and married men to trial; let no father buy off newspapers and poor families whose girls have been disgraced, and in a short time there will be no red-light as girls will be pure and no shame to hid." The letter-writer's point that a root cause of the sex trade is a system that protects wealthy men and abusers while punishing women and girls at an economic, social, and physical disadvantage was a concern of the wider sex trade. As district attorneys like Thompson and religious leaders used their influence to oppress and condemn this community, its members increasingly fought back. Indeed, by 1917 the conflict reached a head with the so-called Prostitute March, during which "more than three hundred prostitutes dressed and perfumed in their finest marched to the Central Methodist Church to confront" a religious leader who had "launched a campaign against sin and vice" (San Francisco Digital History Archive). Tired of leaders pointing to sex workers as the source of evil in the community, this group did as the letter-writer had before them: expose the root causes of the sex trade. "Three fourths of these women worked as prostitutes in order to earn enough to support their children. The only other jobs open to them couldn't meet the costs of raising a family" (San Francisco Digital History Archive). To these complaints they added their inability to vote for representatives who could protect their interests, and systemic protections for men who committed harm. An important glimpse into an all too infrequently discussed portion of American history.
Collection of folio documents (comprised of 59 leaves of manuscript) and receipts from the office of barrister and criminal prosecutor Sir William Oldnall Russell (1784-1833), documenting the indictments, examination of witnesses, and coroner testimony in the 1826 infanticide trial of Elizabeth Nixton and Elizabeth Davies of Leek, Staffordshire. The material in this collection presents a wide range of scholars with opportunity for considering historical practices of polyamory and bigamy, the role of power and coercion in sexual relationships among householders and domestic workers, the relationships, bonds, and rivalries formed among women within abusive spaces, historical approaches to and diagnoses of postpartum depression and mental illness, and the processes of a legal system assessing women based on the testimonies of their abusers and those employed by their abusers. Legal and medical historians, additionally, can locate a host of projects related to historical practices, contexts, and their relationship to practices today. A full list of contents is available below. According to the prosecutor's fair copy, "William Davies the Husband of the Prisoner Elizabeth Davies is a Weaver and a man of very bad moral character, he is about 45 years of age, has had two wives, by his first wife he has several children and during her life time had either one or two children by his present wife who is about 26 years of age and first went to him as an apprentice, she was delivered of the child or children in the House wherein Davies and his wife resided." Following the decease of his first unnamed wife, William "married the Prisoner, Elizabeth Davies, he then took the Prisoner Elizabeth Nixon (who is a diminutive woman of not very bright parts now aged about 26 years) into his Service in the capacity of a Servant, soon after she was with Child by him." The whereabouts of the first child being unknown, there is a suggestion that either it died or was sent to live elsewhere. "She was soon after with child by him again and was delivered of a Child the subject of this Prosecution.his wife the Prisoner Elizabeth Davies being at the time also very far gone with child." Despite a public record and court acknowledgement regarding William Davies' pattern of assault and forced pregnancies on these much younger women -- one of whom it is suggested had disabilities -- and despite numerous witnesses describing Elizabeth Nixon's struggle with postpartum depression, sleep, and her inability to feed or nurse her child, the prosecutor moved ahead in trying the women based in William Davies' own accusations that they had used laudanum from his bedroom to kill the baby boy. While the present court documents do not contain the trial outcomes, official records show that Elizabeth Nixon was acquitted; Elizabeth Davies was sentenced to prison in 1833, presumably for a different crime. Collection Contents: Rough Drafts of the Indictment with docket titles: March 4 and March 6 Copy of the Examination of witness Sarah Hathersmith before the magistrate, with notes that it was later resworn before the coroner, and with nine additional witness statements: November 20-22 Instructions for the Indictment by William Russell and various expense receipts: February 27 Fair copy of the Brief for the Prosecution: March 9 Assorted lists and expense receipts related to the trial, including travel and accommodations as well as conveyance to jails.
Autograph document signed by Joseph Burnays and his witnesses William Brown and Elizabeth Brown, on the recto of one sheet measuring 270 x 185mm. In overall Near Fine condition, with some minor chipping to edges near foldlines and two small snags with paper loss affecting several words (content remaining legible). A scarce survivor documenting the child welfare and child support policies common in the New Republic, where sexual activity and pregnancy outside of marriage were deemed social and economic rather than moral issues. With the support of a number of men in his community, Joseph Burnays declares in writing before his witnesses that "I bind my self my Heirs Executors administrators and Assigns firmly by these presents sealed with my seal.that whereas Mary Buxton of Reading single wooman is suspected and hath Declared her self to be with Child and is likely to become chargeable to this said Town of Reading, therefore the said Joseph Burnays or his Heirs or assigns shll fully support the said Mary Buxton.with the Child she is now pregnant with and if said Child shall live support it.in so ample a manner that the Town of Reading shall be at no charge nor cost." Notably, an area stipulating an end to the child support (up to the child's eighth year) is struck out and replaced with the present text providing full support. According to marriage documents from the Township, Mary Buxton (1759-1795) was married in 1783 but appears to have been widowed by the time of this pregnancy given her descriptor as "single." It is unclear whether she had any previous children; but in the case of this pregnancy, the biological father appears to have been Joseph Burnays. Such an occurrence would not have been rare or shocking at the time, given in the colonies and in the new republic, "the high rate of pregnancies among unmarried women -- and the acceptance of sex before marriage and pregnancy out of wedlock"; after all, of "babies born to first-time mothers between 1785 and 1797, nearly 40 percent were conceived by single women" (The Washington Post). Despite today's perceptions of the past having fully conservative approaches to sexuality, "for these communities, unmarried pregnancy was less a moral issue than a practical one of arranging support for the child" (The Washington Post). "There is no evidence even in rural communities that women who bore children out of wedlock were either ruined or abandoned. A fundamental tenet was that fathers as well as mothers were responsible for children" (Ulrich). This was in large part because "sexual activity was connected with a comprehensive transition into adulthood, to good citenship and economic productivity," requiring that social and legal systems include "an acceptance of female sexuality" as well as holding "men responsible for their behavior" (Ulrich). Further research could be done into the particulars of this case -- including whether either Burnays or Buxton had other children, Burnays' marital status, whether the child survived, and whether the pair eventually married. Additional projects include but are not limited to how this region approached issues of marriage, sexuality and parenthood before and after the revolution, how it compared to other localities, and the extent to which it has laid the groundwork for current and future approaches to family welfare.
First printing in English. A just about Fine copy of the book in the correct salmon colored boards. Near Fine dust jacket priced at $2.00 and with the publisher's Fourth Avenue address. A few very short tears (no loss) at the spine ends and corners, but bright, fresh and unrepaired. The French and English editions were both released by Reynal and Hitchcock in 1943, after the author completed the work during his exile in New York. Over the course of eight days, the mysterious Little Prince recounts the story of his brief life to an aviator stranded in the Sahara after a plane crash. A best-selling children's book from the time of its release, it also remains a philosophical and spiritual work that touches adult readers. As the Little Prince shares his observations about the worlds he has visited, including our own, we have the opportunity to reflect on the kind of people we become as we enter adulthood -- and how we might work to make ourselves and the world a kinder place. Indeed, while the Little Prince often laments the foibles and tragedies of the human world, it is in nature he finds positive truth. The Rose, the Fox, and the Snake carry important lessons about love, commitment, and the finite nature of life. Saint-Exupery, himself a World War II aviator, would tragically die in a plane crash shortly after the book's release. It stands as his lasting legacy, a work of genius. About Fine in Near Fine dust jacket.
Disbound but collating complete including full and half titles: , iv, 5-20. Measuring 240 x 170mm and in just about Fine condition on account of some light soiling and foxing to final two leaves. Contemporary manuscript annotations revealing the identities of several persons or places on full title and page 10 else unmarked. A scarce satire about London's courtesans and the women who associated with them, ESTC reports copies at only 5 libraries; it does not appear in the modern auction record, and the present is the only example currently in trade. Though she began her life in the gentry, Seymour Fleming, Lady Worsley would eventually find herself among the ranks of London's demi-monde as an in demand courtesan and overall scandalous figure. Her marriage at 17 to the much older and ill-suited Sir Richard Worsley was the equivalent of "honorable prostitution" in the sense that it was financially and socially beneficial to both families but not to Fleming herself. Indeed, she would even testify in court that her husband had engaged in candaulism, forcing her to appear naked in front of other men at the bathhouse in Maidstone, Kent. Several of these men -- most notably and publicly George Coventry, Viscount Deerbrook and George Bissett -- would become her lovers and father children with her. Unable to divorce her husband, Fleming separated from him. Joining the New Female Coterie of Sarah Pendergast's brothel in King's Palace, Fleming took her place as one of London's notorious celebrity courtesans and became the subject of numerous satires and erotic narratives released during the period. The present satire opens with a dedication to Henrietta, Lady Grosvenor who, like Fleming, was born to privilege, was married to an older, philandering man in her teenage years, and who lived among the nobility before becoming a courtesan. As it opens, the piece acknowledges tongue-in-cheek the contributions that courtesans make. "It is become a maxim in these refined times to consider female prostitution as a political good.It may be argued that no man's wife, sister, or daughter would be in a state of security if women of your ladyship's spirit did not stand forth the guardians of female chastity." Implicitly, in tying together these two elite women, the satire also acknowledges how the larger system (including their parents and husbands) has prostituted them. In this sense, no "wife, sister, or daughter" is safe from violation. It is notable that the satirist never lets the men off the hook in his critiques of the social situation at hand. Born into families that "Mrs. Pilkington in her Memoirs has published about," they are not virtuous but instead "persuade us that vanity and folly are the hereditary characteristics of the family." While Seymour Fleming might be notorious for her eventual employment, the satirist ensures that readers are exposed to, titillated by and somewhat horrified by the exposures her husband forced her into along the way -- things detailed in this short piece, including his allowing male guests to spy on her as she disrobed in her chamber, encouraging his friends to attempt to seduce her, and otherwise urging men of privilege "to have your turn." By the end of the satire, readers do not wonder at her choices -- or indeed at the existence of any woman's "initiation" into "Mrs. P[endergast]'s seminary.that female society where a channel of communication will be opened." ESTC T39131. Not in the Register of Erotic Books.
Contemporary full calf with gilt label to spine. All edges speckled red. Measuring 155 x 90mm and collating complete including frontis and terminal advertisement: , 394, . Shelfwear to extremitis and slight bowing to boards. Contemporary annotations to front pastedown and front and rear endpapers with portions of rear endpapers excised; rear pastedown neatly removed. Internally a clean copy with a long closed tear to pages 213-214 professionally repaired with no loss to text, and brief examples of pencil marginalia to pages 237-38. A pleasing copy of a scarce erotic book which last appeared at auction over three decades ago and which ESTC lists at only 12 U.S. libraries. Drawn from a 17th century Spanish picaresque novel following the intrigues of the female rake Rufina, Alonso de Castillo's La Garduna de Sevilla (1642) first appeared in English in 1665 as a romantic adventure translated by John Davies as La Picara, or The Triumphs of Female Subtilty. By the time of this translation however, Rufina's persona took a more overtly libertine turn as she was declared a "whore" even within the title (i.e. "pole-cat"). Published by unscrupulous bookseller and printer Edmund Curll, the text has clear erotic rather than romantic implications. "A notorious figure among the publishers of the early eighteenth century for his boldness, lack of scruple, publication of work without authors' consent, and taste for erotic and scandalous publications," Curll did not involve himself in the release of texts that aimed to educate men and women into socially dictated marital roles (Baines and Rogers). Instead, his version of the Rufina story revels in its heroine's sexual appetite and capitalizes on the popularity of the English demi-monde -- courtesans such as Kitty Fisher, Lucy Cooper, and Charlotte Hayes -- by making her a more exoticized iteration of the fantasy they presented to men and women alike. Positioned as it is outside the British Empire, Rufina's narrative invites readers to engage at a slight distance with questions not only about her sexual agency (or even the agency of courtesans) but instead about the agency of women more broadly. As Kathleen Lubey has pointed out, erotic works from this period positioned "decadent sexual description" within a much larger prose structure that "posed questions about social justice [and] elaborated on gender inequity"; indeed, "pornographic prose fiction" such as The Spanish Pole-Cat "rethinks which people count as persons, to what degree they can claim property in their own bodies, and the correspondence of those bodies to social identity" (What Pornography Knows). Capable of stimulating the senses of all readers, physically and intellectually, Rufina, the female libertinism, and the sex trade she invokes encourage excitement over what can happen when limitations are stripped away from certain portions of the population that don't in reality have the ability to move with such freedom. ESTC T89213. Not in the Register of Erotic Books.