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  • Alice! as reproduced in the famous “Grass-hopper” Theatre [drophead title]. by (ALICE IN WONDERLAND). (ALICE IN WONDERLAND). ~ Alice! as reproduced in the famous “Grass-hopper” Theatre [drophead title]. 8th December, 1896.
    Juvenile adaptations of tableaux from Alice performed as part of the celebrations for the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception, consisting of 5 scenes and including… (more)

    Juvenile adaptations of tableaux from Alice performed as part of the celebrations for the Vigil of the Immaculate Conception, consisting of 5 scenes and including Alice herself, The Red and White Queens, Humpty Dumpty, the Hatter, the Hare, the Footman, Duchess and Cook, the Mock Turtle and the Gryphon.

    It is not specified whether ‘The Grasshopper Theatre’ was at home or perhaps at a convent school, but the whole performance was intended for a cast of three, plus a priest. It opened with the Terzetto, ‘Lift up thine Eyes’ from [Medelssohn’s] Elijah, followed by a recitation, The Legend of the Infant Jesus serving at Mass (Mary E.S. Leathy) and Alice! (the latter occupying all but the first three pages). The players for Alice are denoted by three pseudonymns: ‘Altiora Peto’ (a motto: ‘I seek higher things’), ‘Don Quixote’ and ‘Pip’.

    The cover bears a version of Tenniel’s illustration of Humpty Dumpty and the last stanza of ‘All in the Golden Afternoon’, the prefatory poem to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. ‘

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  • DELAPLACE, Henri. ~ Ouvrages en cheveux idéal. Moret-sur-Loing (Seine-et-Marne, Île-de-France), 1878.
    A hair artist’s album and catalogue. Henri Delaplace offers a variety of designs for tokens and memorials made from human hair, some priced, and completes… (more)

    A hair artist’s album and catalogue. Henri Delaplace offers a variety of designs for tokens and memorials made from human hair, some priced, and completes his album with an illustrated history of hairdressing, suggesting he was both a hairdresser and a hair artist. A popular folk art of the 18th and 19th century, hair art was a sentimental expression of grief and love (more usually created by women). Human hair (from both the living and the recently deceased) was used to form flower bouquets, braided jewellery chains, weeping willows, and painted scenes of mourning. Sometimes including photographs, these were cherished tokens to preserve the memory of a deceased loved one, chart a vibrant family tree of the living, or to be exchanged as friendship keepsakes.

    There 138 specimens on the first 33 leaves (completed on one side only) followed by the pictorial history of hairstyles and headwear for men and women on f. 35-53 (completed on both sides), the final leaves including a 4-page history of hairdressing in France. The hairstyles include various national types (native America, Chinese and Turkish), historical French styles, regional headwear for women and some spectacular eighteenth- and nineteenth-century women’s styles, with captions describing their components.

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  • Histoire de la Famille Bloum; traduit de lallemend... par le traducteur des Trois Nouvelles. by LAFONTAINE, Auguste. LAFONTAINE, Auguste. ~ Histoire de la Famille Bloum; traduit de lallemend... par le traducteur des Trois Nouvelles. Paris: Béchet, 1813.
    First edition in French. A European success, Lafontaine was as popular in France as in his native Germany and the book was evidently read in… (more)

    First edition in French. A European success, Lafontaine was as popular in France as in his native Germany and the book was evidently read in French in England (copies were imported by De Boffe). The Monthly Review of December 1813 contained the following notice: ‘This novel betrays many incongruities; among which may be reckoned the description of the Dutch naval captain who talks metaphysics, and that of a prudent mother who forbids her daughter’s marriage because the lovers had not sufficient courage to elope. Some of the female characters exhibit an infantine simplicity, which the author seems to have mistaken and substituted for the innocence of youth...’ Worldcat: Yale and Iowa only outside Europe. No UK copies in JISC/COPAC.

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  • Le Comte de Corke, surnommé le Grand, ou, La Séduction sans artifice, suivi de six Nouvelles by GENLIS, Stéphanie Félicité Brulart, comtesse de. GENLIS, Stéphanie Félicité Brulart, comtesse de. ~ Le Comte de Corke, surnommé le Grand, ou, La Séduction sans artifice, suivi de six Nouvelles Paris: Maradan, An III, 1805.
    First edition in book form, rare, of no less than seven novellas by Genlis, which had appeared serially in the Mercure, headed by a tale… (more)

    First edition in book form, rare, of no less than seven novellas by Genlis, which had appeared serially in the Mercure, headed by a tale of Richard Boyle, Earl of Cork (1566-1643) the Elizabethan adventurer-colonist in Ireland. Contents: 1. Le Comte de Corke (preceded by a Notice historique); Trait de la vie de Henri IV; La jeune Pénitente; 2. Les Amans sans amour; Zumelinde; Le Tulipier, conte oriental; Les Savinies, ou, Les deux jumelles Worldcat: Toronto only outside continental Europe. Several editions followed quickly, including at least one of the same year. COPAC/JISC adds a copy at Swansea.

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  • [Illustrated manuscript. by (CONFESSION). (CONFESSION). ~ [Illustrated manuscript. Low Countries, c. opening of the nineteenth century].
    A pictorial aid to the sacrament of Confession, made for the use of a young girl or woman. It opens with an image of her… (more)

    A pictorial aid to the sacrament of Confession, made for the use of a young girl or woman. It opens with an image of her kneeling before the priest: ‘Reverendo domino, seu pater muta et surda, ad te venio ut confitear peccata mea...’ There follows a series of representations of typical sins, with short captions in Latin, representing the potential sins to be confessed, including: distraction during the Eucharist, working on the Sabbath, missing confession, confession without repentance, disrespect to parents, anger, pride/vanity, hatred towards neighbours (for the term of an hour, a day, a week, a month or a year, emblematically depicted), arguing at games, gossiping, theft, lying, gluttony (’usque ad vomitum’), and two degrees of impure thought (general, and towards another outside marriage). Each emblem is a neat summation of the sin, using a variety of visual devices: distraction shown as curling lines rising from the head and terminating in frivolous curls; speech as an oscillating line, and the sins of the heart as a single red heart. At the end are three acts of contrition.

    These emblems are typical of the pictorial culture of devotion found in contemporary Dutch catholic images and manuscripts, though we have never encountered a similar collection. The book is also typical of contemporary practical aids to confession, sometimes printed, designed to be taken into the confessional. This example is unusual for being specifically female.

    The little book, evidently well-used, has been later reused as a notebook for household accounts, in Dutch, with dates up to around 1820.

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  • The Illustrated London News Panorama of London and the River Thames. by (PANORAMA). [SMYTH, Frederick James, engraver]. (PANORAMA). [SMYTH, Frederick James, engraver]. ~ The Illustrated London News Panorama of London and the River Thames. London: Office of the Illustrated London News, [ 1845].
    Given away with the Illustrated London News on January 11th 1845. Apparently printed from 12 adjacent woodblocks. Examples were also issued folded, or mounted on… (more)

    Given away with the Illustrated London News on January 11th 1845. Apparently printed from 12 adjacent woodblocks. Examples were also issued folded, or mounted on linen, and not all were coloured. For an example not laid to linen, this one is in a good state of repair. The long Panoramic view is from an aerial elevation looking North across the river: Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Westminster (the latter before the addition of Big Ben, of course) stand a the western end, while Greenwich Hospital marks its easterly extent. Between those two points, the river curves eastwards, teeming with contemporary ships and rivercraft and the streets of the northern riverbank presented in admirable detail, together with all the major landmarks of the city, as denoted by the key. Included are: Nelson’s Column, erected three years before; the short-lived Hungerford Suspension Bridge (1845-1862, when it was removed and the chain used on the Clifton Suspension Bridge over the Avon) and the Marble Arch used as the gateway to Buckingham Palace (it was re-erected in Hyde Park only in 1851).

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  • [Commonplace book] by MENGIN, Félicité. MENGIN, Félicité. ~ [Commonplace book] [Nancy (Lorraine), 1812-1817.
    The commonplace book of a young woman, begun at the age of 14 in the convent of the Visitation (Nancy) and finished 5 years later.… (more)

    The commonplace book of a young woman, begun at the age of 14 in the convent of the Visitation (Nancy) and finished 5 years later. In Félicité’s words on the title-page: ‘Commencé en 1812 à la Visitation; fini en 1817 dans le monde’. Genelaogical records tell us that she was born on 10 February 1798 at Nancy and died at the age of 25 on 21 January 1823, at the age of 24, having given birth to a daughter, Cécile, in that month. She had married Charles Froment in 1821.

    Her commonplace book, fully completed, is perhaps typical of an orthodox Catholic education of the post-Revolutionary era, beginning with extracts from pious and devotional works giving advice on conduct, motherhood and family life and preparing young girls for life outside the convent. It opens with a ‘Testament spirituel de Mad. de M***’ (d. 1797) and includes ‘Maximes d’une jeune Personne qui entre dans le Monde’ which provides a series of morsels of advice on: prudence and discretion, truth and sincerity, politesse, impartiality, moderation and so on. Later portions of the book include literary extracts, including verses from the popular journals of the day, a long extract (in French) from Fielding’s Sir Charles Grandisson giving the Italian catholic, Clementine della Poretta’s letter to the protestant Grandisson, and selections from Victor-Joseph Étienne de Jouy’s, satires on Parisian life: L’Ermite de la Chaussée d’Antin, published from 1811 to 1814 in the weekly Gazette de France.

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  • Maximes générales sur la guerre de campagne. by (MILITARY). (MILITARY). ~ Maximes générales sur la guerre de campagne. [France, mid eighteenth century, but after. 1759].
    Probabaly compiled in the aftermath of the Seven Years War, this anonymous pocket treatise on the art of war comprises six chapters: [1] Maximes générales;… (more)

    Probabaly compiled in the aftermath of the Seven Years War, this anonymous pocket treatise on the art of war comprises six chapters: [1] Maximes générales; [2] Des Camps de Rassemblement; [3]. La Guerre de Campagne, comprend l’objet, le plan général, le plan particulier, la conduite, re résultat et la fin des operations; [4] Campagnes de deffensive; [5] Campagnes d’hiver; [6] des Capitulations. Written from the point of view of a prospective military commander or general, it introduces the principles and objectives of campaign warfare of the sort that dominated European history in the eighteenth century. It makes occasional references to historical persons (Turenne and the Duc de Broglie) as well as to more recent events, such as the winter campaigns of 1757-9).

    Provenance: Early ownership inscription: Antonio Lopez; Marquis d'Astorga, sale 1870 (described as from the library of the Dukes of Sessa); Bookplate of Ricardo Heredia, comte de Benahavis, sold as lot 551, Paul, Huard & Guillemin, Drouot (Paris), May, 1891.

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  • Le Pélerinage d’Holy-Rood, ou, Le récit et le rêve... by [POURRET DES GAUDS, A.] [POURRET DES GAUDS, A.] ~ Le Pélerinage d’Holy-Rood, ou, Le récit et le rêve... Paris: G.-A. Dentu, 1832.
    First edition. An account of the author’s ‘pilgrimage’ to the Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh, where French monarch Charles X had taken refuge (for the… (more)

    First edition. An account of the author’s ‘pilgrimage’ to the Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh, where French monarch Charles X had taken refuge (for the second time) following his deposition by the July Revolution in 1830. The object of his pilgrimage was not so much Charles himself, but his young nephew Henri, son of the Duke and Duchess de Berri, named regent of French in exile. A detailed report of this extraordinary young man is given, together with the striking lithograph portrait. The ‘Récit’ of the meeting is followed by various reflections on the author’s return journey through London, and then by a ‘rêve’ in which he dreams of a return to Paris and restoration of the monarchy under the young Henri.

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  • Les Sympathies, ou, L’art de juger, par les traits du visage, des convenances en amour et en amitié. by [GENLIS, Stéphanie Félicité, comtesse de, attributed to]. [GENLIS, Stéphanie Félicité, comtesse de, attributed to]. ~ Les Sympathies, ou, L’art de juger, par les traits du visage, des convenances en amour et en amitié. Paris: [Abel Lanoe] Saintin, libraire, 1813.
    First edition of this very scarce physiognomical guide to matchmaking in love and marriage. The majority of the plates are paired, and come together in… (more)

    First edition of this very scarce physiognomical guide to matchmaking in love and marriage. The majority of the plates are paired, and come together in a rather pleasing fashion when the book is closed. Although anonymous, the second edition (1817) bore the attribution ‘Mme. de G******’, attributed to Madame de Genlis in the Bn catalogue. It is very much in the style of contemporary separately-published popular publications of Lavater (some of which are advertised on the final page as the Collection Physiognomique).

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  • Lettres consolantes et chrétiennes à un jeune solitaire du mont Saint-Bernard dédiées à S.E. monseigneur le cardinal De Belloy by LA SERRIE, François Joseph De. LA SERRIE, François Joseph De. ~ Lettres consolantes et chrétiennes à un jeune solitaire du mont Saint-Bernard dédiées à S.E. monseigneur le cardinal De Belloy Paris: J. M. Eberhart, 1806.
    First edition. A very rare work, published for the author, La Serrie of the Vendée, who published a series of little books at the opening… (more)

    First edition. A very rare work, published for the author, La Serrie of the Vendée, who published a series of little books at the opening of the nineteenth century, in small editions for distribution among his friends, with illustrations engraved by himself. These are naive but accomplished and often very striking devotional compositions. They are almost all captioned, almost invariably with the letter ‘N’ in reverse. No copies located in Worldcat.

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  • Abrégé de la cité mistique de Dieu ou de la vie de la très Sainte Vierge. Manifestée le siècle dernier à la soeur Marie de Jésus, abbesse du monastère de l'Immaculée Conception de la ville d'Agréda, écrite par la même soeur par ordre de ses supérieurs & de ses confesseurs. Par un docteur de Sorbonne, ancien professeur de théologie dans l'université de *** Première édition. by (María de Jesús, abbess of Agréda, 1602-1665) (María de Jesús, abbess of Agréda, 1602-1665) ~ Abrégé de la cité mistique de Dieu ou de la vie de la très Sainte Vierge. Manifestée le siècle dernier à la soeur Marie de Jésus, abbesse du monastère de l'Immaculée Conception de la ville d'Agréda, écrite par la même soeur par ordre de ses supérieurs & de ses confesseurs. Par un docteur de Sorbonne, ancien professeur de théologie dans l'université de *** Première édition. Nancy: Nicolas Baltazard, 1727.
    First edition of this rare French abridgement of the seventeenth-century Mystica ciudad de dios, a life of the Virgin Mary and the most important work… (more)

    First edition of this rare French abridgement of the seventeenth-century Mystica ciudad de dios, a life of the Virgin Mary and the most important work by this Franciscan abbess and mystic. Spiritual adviser to king Philip IV of Spain, Abbess María was reputed to be able to bilocate herself, mystically appearing among missionaries to the Jumano Indians of New Spain. The ‘Lady in Blue’ or ‘Blue Nun’ was a major inspiration to Franciscan missionaries in America. OCLC lists no US copies.

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  • Catalogue d’une très riche mais peu nombreuse collection de livres provenant de la bibliothèque de feu M. le Comte J.-N.-A. de Fortsas, dont la vente se fera à Binche, le 10 août 1840, à onze heures du matin, en l’étude et par le ministère de Me. Mourlon, Notaire, rue de l’Église, no. 9. by (IMAGINARY LIBRARIES). [CHALON, Renier Hubert Ghislain]. ‘FORTSAS, comte de’. (IMAGINARY LIBRARIES). [CHALON, Renier Hubert Ghislain]. ‘FORTSAS, comte de’. ~ Catalogue d’une très riche mais peu nombreuse collection de livres provenant de la bibliothèque de feu M. le Comte J.-N.-A. de Fortsas, dont la vente se fera à Binche, le 10 août 1840, à onze heures du matin, en l’étude et par le ministère de Me. Mourlon, Notaire, rue de l’Église, no. 9. Mons: E. Hoyois, Libraire, [ 1840].
    First edition of this very rare and notorious catalogue for the sale of the library of the comte de Fortsas in Mons, 1840. In that… (more)

    First edition of this very rare and notorious catalogue for the sale of the library of the comte de Fortsas in Mons, 1840. In that year, booksellers, librarians and collectors were surprised to receive copies of a sale catalogue for a remarkable library, containing just 52 books, each purporting to be a work or edition existing in a single copy only. The catalogue introduction explains that the comte collected only these otherwise unrecorded books and that if he subsequently found reference to any in bibliographies and catalogues he would deaccession them by selling, donation or even destruction. There are also helpful annotations to some lots from the comte’s own notes and some condition statements.

    Converging on the small town of Binche on August 10th, hopeful bidders were surprised to find the notary’s office in which the sale was to be held did not actually exist and later, to learn that there was no library of unique books, and no comte de Fortsas. The hoax had been perpetrated by Renier Hubert Ghislain Chalon, an antiquarian who enjoyed playing elaborate pranks on intellectuals. This copy also contains the exceptionally rare ‘Avis’ sheet (officially stamped) bound at the end - the notice issued by Chalon stating that the sale was cancelled and that the books had been acquired en bloc by the public library of the town of Binche.

    132 copies only of the catalogue were printed, and 73 copies of the Avis. It was reprinted very quickly, but the first edition is very rare and is recognised by the word ‘rue’ as the first word of the eighth line on the title (the earliest reprint has that word at the end of the line above): W. Klinefelter, The Fortsas Bibliohoax (1941)

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  • Que tout ceci reste entre nous. by BOURNAZEL, Diane de. BOURNAZEL, Diane de. ~ Que tout ceci reste entre nous. Marliac (Corrèze, Limousin), 2019.
    A unique artist’s book. Diane de Bournazel (b. 1956) creates books as ‘poems without words’ in her unique pen, ink and gouache style, filling each… (more)

    A unique artist’s book. Diane de Bournazel (b. 1956) creates books as ‘poems without words’ in her unique pen, ink and gouache style, filling each page with mazes of vegetation, mysterious borders, structures and figures, opening windows within pages allowing us to see behind and beyond them, suggesting a series of alternative worlds and narratives. Drawing on the universals of the cosmos, the natural world, of childhood and human relationships each of her books invite careful ‘reading’ and multiple interpretations. Collectors have found the books to speak for themselves, and the artist writes of her work simply as:

    ‘Poésie sans paroles.
    Il s’agit bien de ça.
    Mettre en images le monde et l’arrière monde,
    Comme un poète mais sans mot dire’.

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  • [Cut paper roundels] by MAYNARD, Henry. MAYNARD, Henry. ~ [Cut paper roundels] Kingston (England), 1811.
    Examples of the Regency fashion for intricate paper cutting. Each roundel contains figures of angels, of John the Baptist holding a cross, and birds among… (more)

    Examples of the Regency fashion for intricate paper cutting. Each roundel contains figures of angels, of John the Baptist holding a cross, and birds among the exquisitely cut foliage and swags. At the centres are small watercolour scenes, one of Abraham and Isaac, the other of Moses and the burning bush. The initials ‘MWM’ may denote a recipient, or perhaps the object of a memorial. The black backgrounds and symbols of resurrection suggest these are memorial pictures.

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  • Notice historique des descentes qui ont été faites dans les Isles britanniques,depuis Guillaume-le-Conquérant jusqu’à l'an VI de la République française; avec une carte enluminée gravée par P.F. Tardieu. by [GIRARDIN, Stanislas, comte de]. [GIRARDIN, Stanislas, comte de]. ~ Notice historique des descentes qui ont été faites dans les Isles britanniques,
    depuis Guillaume-le-Conquérant jusqu’à l'an VI de la République française; avec une carte enluminée gravée par P.F. Tardieu.
    Paris: Crapelet [se vend chez Maradan], An VI, [ 1797-8].
    First edition of this graphic propaganda piece encouraging the projected invasion of Britain by Napoleon’s Revolutionary government. By pushing the definition of invasion and by… (more)

    First edition of this graphic propaganda piece encouraging the projected invasion of Britain by Napoleon’s Revolutionary government. By pushing the definition of invasion and by including a long series of medieval coastal raids on Southern England, General Girardin can list 45 ‘invasions’ from 1066 to the present, with 41 being successful.

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  • Panegyrique de Saint Louis, roi de France, prononcé devant Messieurs de l’Académie royale des inscriptions & belles-lettres, & Messieurs de l’Académie royale des sciences, dans l’eglise des PP. de l’Oratoire, le 25 août 1758. by (SAINT LOUIS). Guillaume-Germain GUYOT. (SAINT LOUIS). Guillaume-Germain GUYOT. ~ Panegyrique de Saint Louis, roi de France, prononcé devant Messieurs de l’Académie royale des inscriptions & belles-lettres, & Messieurs de l’Académie royale des sciences, dans l’eglise des PP. de l’Oratoire, le 25 août 1758. Paris: Bernard Brunet, imprimeur de l’Académie Françoise, 1758.
    First edition, preserved in its contemporary wrapper. A panegyric given on the Feast of Saint Louis, patron saint of France in the church, to members… (more)

    First edition, preserved in its contemporary wrapper. A panegyric given on the Feast of Saint Louis, patron saint of France in the church, to members of the Académies royales in the church of the Oratoire. Worldcat: Newberry and Michigan only outside France.

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  • Panégyrique de sainte Adélaide, impératrice, dédié a Madame. by (ADELAIDE, empress and saint). PETITY, Jean-Raymond de, abbé. (ADELAIDE, empress and saint). PETITY, Jean-Raymond de, abbé. ~ Panégyrique de sainte Adélaide, impératrice, dédié a Madame. Paris: P.G. Simon, 1757.
    First edition. A panegyric addressed to Marie Adélaïde, ‘Madame’ (1732-1800, the fourth of Louis XV’s eight daughters) on the subject of her patron, Saint Adelaide… (more)

    First edition. A panegyric addressed to Marie Adélaïde, ‘Madame’ (1732-1800, the fourth of Louis XV’s eight daughters) on the subject of her patron, Saint Adelaide of Burgundy, Holy Roman Empress by marriage to the tenth-century Emperor Otto the Great. The author, Abbé Petity, was a court cleric and had been royal predicateur to Adélaïde’s mother, Marie Leszczyńska. Worldcat: University of Aberdeen only outside France.

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  • Voyage à l’Isle des peupliers. by (ROUSSEAU). THIÉBAUD, Arsenne. (ROUSSEAU). THIÉBAUD, Arsenne. ~ Voyage à l’Isle des peupliers. Paris: ‘Au Magasin des Romans nouveaux, chez LePetit... An VII, [ 1798].
    First edition. A homage to Rousseau in the form of a series of imaginary visits to his monument on the Isle des Peupliers in the… (more)

    First edition. A homage to Rousseau in the form of a series of imaginary visits to his monument on the Isle des Peupliers in the gardens of Ermenonville which had been constructed by the philosopher’s patron, the Marquis de Girardin. Lepetit’s adverts on 6 pages at the end are of interest and include several translations from gothic novels in English (Anne Radcliffe, Eléonor de Rosalba, ou le Confessionnal des Pénitens Noirs; Miss Bennett, Rosa, ou la Fille Mendiante and Sophie Lee, Le Soutterrain, ou Matilde). Worldcat: Cambridge, Dumbarton Oaks, Illinois and Princeton only outside continental Europe.

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  • Histoire de Charles Price, fameux escroc de Londres, connu sous différens noms; traduite de l’Anglois sur la sixieme édition. by (PRICE, Charles). (PRICE, Charles). ~ Histoire de Charles Price, fameux escroc de Londres, connu sous différens noms; traduite de l’Anglois sur la sixieme édition. ‘Londres’ [Paris]’ et se trouve à Paris, chez Volland’, 1787.
    First edition in French of An authentic Account of Forgeries and Frauds of various kinds, committed by Charles Price, otherwise Patch or (alternatively) Memoirs of… (more)

    First edition in French of An authentic Account of Forgeries and Frauds of various kinds, committed by Charles Price, otherwise Patch or (alternatively) Memoirs of a Social Monster (1786), a sensational work which had run to six English editions within a year. Price, a highly successful forger of banknotes and a confidence trickster, notorious for engraving his own very plausible banknotes printed on paper of his own manufacture complete with watermarks, became something of a celebrity in eighteenth century London. He took his own life in Bridewell in 1786 and was the subject of numerous popular memoirs and ballads. Rochedieu, p. 368. Worldcat: Cambridge, Leeds, University of London, V & A, Cornell, UCLA and Yale outside continental Europe. Rochedieu, p. 368.

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