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  • Francis Picabia, 1879-1954. by PICABIA, François. PICABIA, François. ~ Francis Picabia, 1879-1954. [Paris, 1955].
    First and only edition, number 87 of 191 copies. Tributes to the French Dada and Surrealist painter and poet Francis Picabia, with contributions by artists… (more)

    First and only edition, number 87 of 191 copies. Tributes to the French Dada and Surrealist painter and poet Francis Picabia, with contributions by artists including Jean Arp, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and Pierre de Massot.

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  • Histoire litteraire des fous. by DELEPIERRE, Octave. DELEPIERRE, Octave. ~ Histoire litteraire des fous. London: Trübner & Co., 1860.
    First edition thus of this important and influential study of madness and ‘outsider’ literature. Albert Caillet’s copy, with his bookplate. A reissue, in revised and… (more)

    First edition thus of this important and influential study of madness and ‘outsider’ literature. Albert Caillet’s copy, with his bookplate. A reissue, in revised and enlarged form, of two papers which first appeared in the Miscellanies of the Philobiblon society, vols. 3-4, under titles ‘Études bio-bibliographiques sur les fous littéraires’, and ‘Essai biographique sur l'histoire littéraire des fous.’ With pieces on John Clare, Robert Hall, Kant, Lalou, John Mason, Thomas Lloyd, Nathaniel Lee, Alexander Cruden and Sir Thomas Ames.

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  • Obscenia. Lettre à la Présidente. Poésies érotiques. by [VAN MAELE, Martin, illustrator. Théophile GAUTIER]. [VAN MAELE, Martin, illustrator. Théophile GAUTIER]. ~ Obscenia. Lettre à la Présidente. Poésies érotiques. Bruxelles [but Paris]: Successeurs de Poulet-Malassis [Jules Chevrelle], 1907.
    First edition of this collection, one of 150 (after 50 copies with coloured plates). ‘Lettre à la Présidente’ recounting Gautier’s sexual exploits in Italy was… (more)

    First edition of this collection, one of 150 (after 50 copies with coloured plates). ‘Lettre à la Présidente’ recounting Gautier’s sexual exploits in Italy was addressed to Madame Sabatier, hostess of a literary salon frequented by Gautier. It had been first published clandestinely in 1890. Here it is presented with other obscene fragments, including hitherto unpublished verse, with the celebrated sequence of erotic plates by Van Maele.

    Maurice François Alfred Martin van Miële (12 October 1863 – 5 September 1926) worked in both Brussels and Paris, and is especially associated with the clandestine publications of Charles Carrington. Dutel 608; Kearney, Private Case, 791; Pia, 776-7. Worldcat: BL and Trinity College, Oxford only.

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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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  • Le Livre fait par force, ou, le Mystificateur mystifié et corrigé. by [LE BAULD DE NANS, Claude-Étienne]. [LE BAULD DE NANS, Claude-Étienne]. ~ Le Livre fait par force, ou, le Mystificateur mystifié et corrigé. ‘À Mystificatopolis’ [i.e. Berlin]: Chez Momus, à la Marotte, ‘5784’ [ 1784].
    First edition. A witty satire in the vein of Sterne on the writing and publishing of books, with a frontispiece depicting the young author surrounded… (more)

    First edition. A witty satire in the vein of Sterne on the writing and publishing of books, with a frontispiece depicting the young author surrounded by thugs: ‘Faits-nous un Livre, ou nous allons vous casser la tête’ (’Make us a book or we’re going to smash your head in’). Part of the novel is in the form of a dialogue between a young writer and a more experienced author, but the satire is chiefly directed against the figure of the publisher, and its asks who really is the maker of a book. The French author spent most of his life in Germany and was variously an actor, playwright, journalist and a tutor to the royal court at Berlin.

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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 of a young woman, begun at the age of 14 in the convent of the Visitation (Nancy) and finished 5 years later. In… (more)

    The commonplace 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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  • Prières hymnes et offices [Les sept pseaumes de la Pénitance]. by (PENITENTIAL PSALMS). [RANCÉ, Armand-Jean-Baptiste Le Bouthillier de, Abbot of La Trappe]. (PENITENTIAL PSALMS). [RANCÉ, Armand-Jean-Baptiste Le Bouthillier de, Abbot of La Trappe]. ~ Prières hymnes et offices [Les sept pseaumes de la Pénitance]. [Northern France/Flanders], 1697.
    An interesting seventeenth-century manuscript of the Seven Penitential Psalms. The Latin psalms (6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, and 142) are presented in the ruled… (more)

    An interesting seventeenth-century manuscript of the Seven Penitential Psalms. The Latin psalms (6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, and 142) are presented in the ruled margins, while the central text is that of the French paraphrases attributed to the Abbé de Rancé (1626-1700), recent founder of the monastery of La Trappe. His paraphrases were included in his posthumous collected works, but we have been unable to find them in any pre-1700 publication, suggesting they circulated in manuscript only at the time this little manuscript was made.

    The title bears an attractive coloured vignette illustrating a passage from psalm 140: ‘Que ma priére s’élève vers vous, comme la fumée de l’encens du matin: que l’élévation des mes mains vous soit aussi agréable que le sacrifice du soir’. The second title verso bears an attractive contemporary print, enclosed within red ruled lines and part of the intended design of the manuscript. The early inscription locates the manuscript with the provost or prior of the collegiate church of St Peter, Lille (’de insulis’), one of the majour foundations of the city, destroyed at the Revolution. It had become associated with the Lille cult of Notre-Dame des sept douleurs.

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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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  • Plots, Conspiracies and Attempts of Domestick and Forraigne Enemies of the Romish Religion under Queene Elizabeth, unto this present Yeare 1642. by G.B.C [Lady]. G.B.C [Lady]. ~ Plots, Conspiracies and Attempts of Domestick and Forraigne Enemies of the Romish Religion under Queene Elizabeth, unto this present Yeare 1642. London: for Ralph Rounthwait, 1642.
    First edition. An interesting pamphlet illustrating the paranoia over Catholic influences in Protestant England. It lists in great detail numerous attacks against the Protestant English… (more)

    First edition. An interesting pamphlet illustrating the paranoia over Catholic influences in Protestant England. It lists in great detail numerous attacks against the Protestant English made by members of the Catholic faith, including the Gunpowder conspirators. Wing C34; Thomason, E.121[29]

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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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