Gay describes this gossipy little book as a “recueil de pièces satiriques, dirigées pour la plupart contre la clergé”, with the Jesuites du College de Louis le Grand and Louis XIV's great general, the Maréchal de Villars singled out for special attention.more...
The anonymous author satirically describes himself as “Chevalier de l’Ordre de l’Industrie & de la Gibeciere” (‘chevalier d'industrie’ means swindler in French and ‘gibecièr’ is a gamebag or satchel), but his real identity remains a mystery. This is the second edition. A more common issue with the imprint 'la présente année' is considered variously to have been printed from 1700 to 1708. The BL catalogue suggests Holland as the place of publication for our edition. No source hazards a guess at the author.
De Courtin's work purports to be an early self-help manual which offers practical advice on dealing with jealousy in a marriage, which, as the advertisement proclaims: "De toutes les maladies de l'esprit, La Jalousie est assurément la plus dangereuse, & la plus difficile à guerir". Despite being described by Gay as an "ouvrage ennuyeux et mal ecrit", the frequency with which the title was reprinted after its first publication in 1764 is testament to its contemporary popularity.
The final work Octavie ou l'Epouse fidelle was first published in 1683; this imprint is not dated, but other undated copies are suggested to have been published c.1700. .see full details
This immensely popular juvenile novel emphasises thrift and hard work through the character of Simon, a travelling salesman. It was published by La Société pour l’instruction élémentaire following a competition, with a prize of 1000 francs donated by an anonymous benefactor, for a work of no more than 250 pages in which were ‘tracés avec simplicité, précision et sagesse, le principes de religion chrétienne, de morale, de prudence sociale’, for the improvement of everyday town and country people. There were numerous subsequent editions in France, as well as translations into Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch, Greek and even Breton.
A nephew of the Jussieu brothers of botanical fame, Laurent Jussieu became director of police to the French minister for the interior in 1837..see full details
A pamphlet on the advantages of free trade, written by Bentham with his disciple John Bowring in response to the new customs tariff passed by the Cortes. Bentham was inspired by the liberal Spanish government, but soon disappointed with introduction of laws which limited both personal and commercial liberties..see full details
A collection of 12 scarce treaties between Britain and her allies following the French declaration of war in 1793 and one further treaty negotiated with Bavaria in 1800.more...
The backbone of the British war policy, these 1793 agreements were designed to create an allied coalition against the French, of which the axis would be Britain and the German powers, with further support from subsidiary powers in the Baltic, Mediterranean and Atlantic. However, the speed and efficiency with which these agreements were signed belies the complex and conflicting aims of each nation and the subsequent rapid disintegration of the policy.
Britain's initial admiration for the evolving Revolution in France quickly changed to alarm with the execution of Louis XVI in January 1793, followed by the French declarations of war on Britain and the Dutch Republic on February 1 and Spain on March 7. French war-mongering had already led to the annexation of Savoy, Belgium and the Rhineland in 1792 and French ambitions were spelt out by Danton in the National Convention: "The frontiers of France have been mapped by nature, and we shall reach them at the four corners of the horizon, on the banks of the Rhine, by the side of the ocean and at the Alps. It is there that we shall reach the limits of our Republic."
Notably, the first two agreements were conventions signed with Russia, one uniting the two countries as allies against the aggressions of France and securing Russia's cooperation in the naval war, the other being a trade agreement, which finally settled a longstanding commercial dispute between Britain and Russia. Signed on the same day in March 1793, a contemporary commentator wryly noted that it seemed the two powers were competing as to "who shall be most fond and shall kiss the first". However, despite the apparent goodwill on both sides, the conventions never led to full and binding treaties.
Similarly, the terms of the convention signed with Prussia unravelled almost as soon as the ink was dry and within two months Frederick William II was demanding significant additional terms. Lord Grenville, Britain's Foreign Secretary, took a dim view of such demands and having first shored up his own position by negotiating a separate agreement with Austria, he initially refused to comply with Prussian requests. However, under pressure from Pitt and Dundas, Grenville was forced to negotiate further with the Prussians, with the result that the Austrians were in turn estranged.
Like Russia, the Spanish had their own motives for joining the war and despite the successful signing of the convention of Aranjuez, which committed both parties to explore the prospects of an alliance, a further agreement was never reached. Alliances with Portugal, Sardinia and Sicily proved equally problematic in the following months..see full details
Tiphaigne de la Roche’s L’Amour Dévoilé is a notable attempt to explain love and sexual attraction in mechanistic terms. The author considers the role of ‘la matière Sympathique’, which he believed to be a type of vapour exhaled by both animals and humans, and its action upon the senses of a member of the opposite sex. This rational approach to the subject makes overt reference to Leeuwenhoek who had explained the action of skin pores and appears to prefigure modern research into pheromones.
The author studied medicine at the University of Caen and practised as a physician. L’Amour Dévoilé is his first published work preceding several speculative and utopian novels, notably Giphantie (1760, the title an anagram of his name) in which he anticipated several modern developments including photography and synthetic food.
Pernetti, author of the moral romance Histoire de Favoride was a canon of the cathedral at Lyon and a prominent antiquary of that city. He was also a freemason and wrote a short treatise on that subject..see full details
First edition of this comprehensive study of the sociology of gambling by French writer and self-confessed ex-gambler Jean Dusaulx (1728-1799).more...
Gambling was deeply-rooted in French society, especially in Paris, where all classes (including the court) were obsessed with card games and lotteries. Dusaulx sought to analyse this craze and to point out the moral depravity which it both reflected and encouraged. He includes numerous anecdotes to illustrate the irrationality of the gambler, making De la Passion du Jeu an important account of this aspect of the social history of pre-Revolutionary France..see full details
The book gives details of various methods of catching different fish, and which rivers to find them in. It is the first angling book to mention silk-worm gut. According to ESTC, this present work was issued separately by five different printers in 1724. This issue is the only one included in Westwood & Satchell (Biblioteca Piscatoria, pp.189). The attractive engraved folding frontispiece shows different methods of fishing and four species of fish: brill, trout, carp and perch. ESTC lists three copies only: at Harvard, Princeton and Boston Public Library..see full details
First published in 1855 Timbs’s Curiosities is a wonderful catalogye of London facts and eccentricities: alchemists, coffee houses, Chelsea buns, fogs, law courts, railway termini, prisons - they’re all here.more...
Aberdeen-born scholar and poet John Johnston (c.more...
1565–1611) spent over a decade in continental Europe, matriculating at the University of Rostock and being appointed regent at the university of Heidelberg in 1587. He returned to Scotland in 1591 and was based at St Andrews for the rest of his life. Historia Civilis & Ecclesiastica was first published, posthumously, in 1633..see full details
First and only edition, apparently the last of numerous French translations of Hume’s works to be published in his lifetime.more...
It contains excerpts from his Essays (arranged thematically) and History of England (arranged chronologically). It was evidently aimed at a wider audience than the philosophical and appears as much a guide to the peculiarities of the British as to Hume’s philosophy..see full details
First edition of one of Carus’s pioneering works in the emerging science of psychology.more...
The author’s major contribution was in exploring the psychology of the unconscious and he is considered the precursor of Jung (who acknowleged his debt to Carus) in this field. The author was a prolific figure who wrote on many aspects of psychology, medicine and philosophy. He was an accomplished landscape artist in the Romantic tradition and had studied under Caspar David Friedrich. He was also a friend of Nietzsche, Humboldt and Goethe.
The Vorlesungen über Psychologie is especially notable for its wide frame of reference outside the discipline of medicine. Many of Carus’s examples are drawn from literature, with a special emphasis on the works of Shakespeare: in the course of his argument he refers variously to Hamlet, Macbeth, Henry IV, Romeo and Juliet and Othello..see full details
First published in two instalments in 1660 and 1664, Ingelo's best-selling work of moral and religious instruction was soon reprinted with a second edition in 1669 and the third in 1673. The fourth edition, 1682, included "large amendments. Wherein all the obscure words throughout the book are interpreted in the margin". Each of the two volumes was printed by a different printer and ESTC records indicate that they were not intended to be issued together..see full details
An expanded version of Maddison’s Englands looking in and out (1640).more...
Maddison, a forward looking and enterprising landlord was a vocal advocate for the regulation of the money markets, arguing that foreign exchangers and unscrupulous merchants had devalued the currency for personal gain. He developed his ideas in the work above mentioned to include the demand that an accurate account be kept and made available of the balance of trade. “In 1655 he published an updated version of his 1640 tract entitled Great Britain's remembrancer, looking in and out; tending to the increase of the monies of the Commonwealth. Presented to his highness the lord protector and to the high court of parliament now assembled (1655). His recent experience of office can account for new calls for a bank, a council for the mint, and free ports, but his general economic views remained unchanged” (ODNB)..see full details