DUSAULX, Jean. ~ De la Passion du jeu, depuis les temps anciens jusqu’a nos jours. Paris: De l’Imprimerie de Monsieur, 1779.
2 vols. in one, 8vo (203 × 127 mm.), pp. xxxvi, 267, ; , 335, . Woodcut French royal arms to titles. Contemporary French mottled calf, panelled spine with 5 raised bands, gilt, red morocco label, silk marker, marbled endpapers, red edges. Slightly rubbed. Early booksellers’ labels to front pastedown (Gay, Strasbourg), bookplate of Bernhard Bloch-Levalois. An excellent copy.
First edition of this comprehensive study of the sociology of gambling by French writer and self-confessed ex-gambler Jean Dusaulx (1728-1799). 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.