MOËT, Jean-Pierre. ~ Code de Cythère, ou Lit de justice d’amour. ‘À Erotopolis, chez le Dieu Harpocrates, à l’enseigne de la nuit. L’an du Monde 7746’, [Paris, 1746].
pp. , lx, 81, , complete with half-title, typographical ornaments.
[bound after:] Le Frère questeur. Histoire galante, ecrite par lui-même. ‘À Londres’ [?Paris], 1756, pp. 126.
2 works bound together, 8vo (165 × 90 mm). Contemporary mottled sheep, gilt panelled spine, red morocco labels. Rubbed, head of spine slightly chipped, but very nice copies. Later etched bookplate of C[harles] de Mandre (1805-75).
First edition of Code de Cythère, a utopian system for the regulation of prostitution in Paris, proposing a system of highly organized houses in which female sex workers would be gathered and cared for. In a series of articles Moët sets out this utilitarian plan, dividing his subject into classes and orders and describing provisions for health, well-being, the care of infants born to them in the course of their work, and expected standards of dress and behaviour. He concludes with a detailed financial balance sheet. This early work on the subject cannot fail to have influenced Restif de la Bretonne, who adapts many of Moët’s ideas in his influential Pornographe of 1769. Gay tells us that Moët was the son of the royal librarian at Versailles. The false ‘Erotopolis’ imprint probably disguises a French origin.
Bound with the Code de Cythère is a rare roman galant also with a fale imprint, namely Le Frère questeur, probably a version of the earlier novel, Le Diable d’argent of 1707.
Gay I, 606. OCLC