HELIODORUS of Emesa. ~ Amours de Theagénes et Chariclée. Histoire Ethiopique... “Londres” [but Paris], 1743.
2 vols.,12mo (152 × 95 mm.), pp. x, 213, ; [ii], 190. Engraved frontispieces to each vol. (the first an additional title), 10 engraved plates, titles printed in red and black with engraved vignettes, engraved headpieces. Occasional light browning and soiling, the second frontispiece slightly stained. Contemporary mottled calf, flat spines gilt in compartments, 2 black morocco labels to each. Minor repair to spines and joints. A good copy.
First edition of this anonymous translation of the third century Greek romance Aethiopica, a work highly prized in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe as perhaps the earliest prose adventure. It was admired and imitated by European authors such as Racine, Mme de Scudéry, Marin le Roy de Gomberville, Cervantes, and Aphra Behn and exercised a profound influence on the development of the European novel. This translation is sometimes ascribed to Louis-François de Fontenu. Cioranescu 29097; Quérard, La France littéraire IV, 57; Cohen/de Ricci 478; Lewine 236; Gay I, 160; Hoefer XXIII, 822.