Observations and Reflections Made in the Course of a Journey through France, Italy, and Germany - Rare Book Insider
Observations and Reflections Made in the Course of a Journey through France

Observations and Reflections Made in the Course of a Journey through France, Italy, and Germany

2 vols, 8vo, contemporary red half calf, blue paper boards, marbled endpapers, green leather spine labels, gilt rules and lettering. Six pages of publisher's advertisements in volume two. In 1784 Hester Lynch Thrale (1741-1821), the famous friend and confidante of Samuel Johnson, married an Italian musician, Gabriel Mario Piozzi, and they soon set off for Europe, where they traveled for three years, which she artfully chronicled in one of the most entertaining accounts of the Grand Tour. Written in an informal conversational style, Observations and Reflections is "alive with present-tense immediacy, to erode the barriers between diary and travel narrative. Her delight in Piozzi and in Italy was everywhere apparent in the materials she included in this development of the genre, which subverted masculine tropes of the grand tourist as disillusioned and hard to please" - ODNB. Piozzi's work became a model for other women travel writers and a source for authors like Ann Radcliffe in her novel The Mysteries of Udolpho. Bookplate of Charles Langton Massingberd on the front paste-downs, below which is the bookplate of American author Larry McMurtry. This is a duplicate from his collection of books by women travelers. Edges and boards a little rubbed and worn; light foxing to the prelims; very good copy. ESTC T71718; Rothschild 1551; Pine-Coffin 784-5; Robinson, Wayward Women, page 243
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Three Months Passed in the Mountains East of Rome

Three Months Passed in the Mountains East of Rome, During the Year 1819

8vo, original gray boards sillfully rebacked, recent printed paper label, untrimmed. Frontispiece and five plates after sketches by Charles Eastlake. With errata, directions for the binder and four pages of advertisements between the front endpapers for the Literary Gazette, dated June 20, 1820. A travel narrative revealing of the adventurous and fearless nature of its author, Maria Graham (1785-1842). In the summer of 1819, she, her husband and the artist Charles Eastlake ventured into the mountains east of Rome, to the villages of Poli, near Tivoli and Palestrina, to escape the heat, but where it was known that the roads and locales were controlled by the dreaded banditti. Foreigners were discouraged from visiting this region and that apparently appealed to Maria Graham, who for a summer documented the local history, the personalities and nature of the people who were considered bandits, and she managed to do it unscathed. This was the third of five travel narratives by Graham, which established her as a bona fide travel writer, as opposed to a writer of a single travelogue. She had previously published two accounts of her travels in India; Brazil and Chile would be her next far-flung destinations. Contemporary bookplate on the front paste-down, below which is the modern bookplate of author Larry McMurtry. This is a duplicate from his collection of books by women travelers. Edges slightly rubbed; some light foxing; very good copy in contemporary state. Pine-Coffin 819-3; Robinson, Wayward Women, pages 44-45; see the ODNB
The Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets; With Critical Observations on their Work. With an Introduction and Notes by Roger Lonsdale

The Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets; With Critical Observations on their Work. With an Introduction and Notes by Roger Lonsdale

Four vols, 8vo, original black cloth, gilt lettering. Frontis portrait. The definitive edition of Johnson's famous Lives of the English Poets, issued 225 years after its original publication. This edition, edited by 18th century English literature scholar Roger Lonsdale, has been celebrated as a great achievement in textual scholarship in giving Johnson's 52 biographies literary and historical context unlike anything that been previously accomplished. "The crowning achievement of Lonsdale's career is his magisterial edition of Johnson's Live of the Poets, a work more than two decades in the making. . . . This richly illuminating guide to Samuel Johnson's culminating critical accomplishment also delivers an astonishingly comprehensive masterclass in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century poetry, from the shifting status of writing for publication to the increasingly expanding market. Lonsdale's sympathetic understanding of Johnson [is] . . . a rare work whose greatness stands with Johnson's own" - Michael F. Suarez, S.J., in his introduction to Christopher Edwards Antiquarian Books List 87, The Library of Roger Lonsdale. Ink ownership signature with a few notes in pencil on the rear endpapers and margins of another Johnson scholar, Chester Chapin, dated June 14, 2006. This edition is inexplicably out of print - in any format: hard cover, paperback, e-book or print on demand - and accordingly scarce. Strange and shocking that Clarendon Press, a branch of Oxford University Press, would allow an important text like this to be unavailable except at select libraries. Fine copy, enclosed in the publisher's slipcase.
Les Entetiens Curieux

Les Entetiens Curieux, de Tartuffe et de Rabelais, sur les Femmes. Par le Sr. de la Daillhiere [pseud]

Small 12mo, 19th century brown half morocco, signed P. Pralon of Dijon, dark brown paper boards, blind rules and gilt lettering. Woodcut device on the title-page and two woodcut initials. [12], 95 pages. Three ingenious, bold and entertaining imaginary conversations between the fictional character of Moliere's famous play, Tartuffe, and the deceased FranÁois Rabelais, written pseudonymously and modeled most closely on the dialogues of Lucian, Pietro Aretino and Bernard le Bovier Fontenelle. The subject of the conversations is women, men's relationship to women, procreation, coquetry, seduction, and caring for them, including the roles of eunuchs in classical antiquity. Moliere's character Tartuffe made his first appearance on stage in 1663. Outwardly he was pious, but in reality he was mercenary, lecherous and deceitful. Both character and play were popular, but frowned upon by the church and banned, which made pairing him in dialogue with the master of satire, free-thinker and great writer Rabelais (circa 1485-1553) intriguing. In one part of the second conversation, the character of Rabelais teasingly critiques the work of Moliere. And in the preface, the pseudonymous Le Sieur de la Daillhiere falsely claims, as Tartuffe might have, that there is no sin in the text of the dialogues. ? This is an early example of a dialogue that uses literary figures as its interlocutors. The dialogue form was popular in France in the 17th century and was used most successfully by Fontenelle (1657-1757) and FranÁois FÈnelon (1651-1715). In the preface the author states that his reason for anonymity was "that the work doesn't deserve it, being a mere trifle in comparison to other works he is about to give to the public, of which the present is merely an outline." ? From the library of French bibliographer Gabriel Peignot (1767-1849), with the manuscript notation on front blank, "Vente Peignot." Catalogue de la BibliothËque de feu Gabriel Peignot, page 227, #1883 (this copy). On the front paste-down is the armorial bookplate of Jean-Baptiste Philippe Constant Moens (1833-1908), the Belgian philatelist considered the first dealer in stamps for collectors. Edges of the binding a little rubbed; scattered stains and foxing; paper repairs to the final two leaves, mostly marginal but affecting a few letters at the extremities of three lines in the penultimate leaf; very good copy, enclosed in a quarter morocco clamshell case. Brunet, II, 470; Cioranescu, Bibliographie de la LittÈrature FranÁaise, 38017; OCLC records 12 copies, five in the US and seven in Europe and Britain