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The Petticoat: An Heroi-comical Poem. In two books

Bound to style in quarter calf over marbled boards with gilt to spine. All edges marbled. Measuring 185 x 112mm and collating complete including half title: [4], iii, [1, blank], 39, [1, blank]. With catchword 'behold' on page 27 and floral ornament above 'Finis' on page 39 as called for. A Fine example, unmarked and fresh. A scarce piece of erotic satire, ESTC records copies at 11 U.S. institutions. It last sold at auction in 1929, and the present is the only first edition on the market. "Begin my Muse and sing in Epick train The Petticoat; Nor shall thou sing in vain, The Petticoat will sure reward thy pain!" So opens a satire composed under the pseudonym Mr. Gay (used by several of those hacks in Edmund Curll's employ), which traces how the amorous adventures of Thyrsis and Chloe were made possible by the latter's fashionable hooped skirt. Finding both humor and seriousness in women's fashion, The Petticoat points out how some of the clothing designed to hinder women's movement could actually be adapted to their advantage -- in this case, the pursuit and fulfillment of illicit sexual affairs. For just as Thyrsis is able to hide beneath his lover's skirt to conceal himself while pleasing her, Chloe is able to share this information with her female coterie (including the work's readers). Thus, women desirous of hiding lovers of any gender might deploy this ingenious method, allowing them to engage in affairs without traveling far from home. An acknowledgement of women's own sexual desire and agency. ESTC T43929. Unspeakable Curll 241-242. Not in the Register of Erotic Books.