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  • La Belgique en cage et un coin de Belgique libre. Opgesloten België en een hoek van vrij België. by (GREAT WAR). WILLEMS, Frans. (GREAT WAR). WILLEMS, Frans. ~ La Belgique en cage et un coin de Belgique libre. Opgesloten België en een hoek van vrij België. [Netherlands, 1915].
    An atmospheric series of watercoloured prints of the German-controlled Dutch-Belgian border in 1915 by a Belgian artist in exile in Holland. Issued in very small… (more)

    An atmospheric series of watercoloured prints of the German-controlled Dutch-Belgian border in 1915 by a Belgian artist in exile in Holland. Issued in very small numbers (perhaps no more than 20 copies), it is marked ‘Série 1’, but no more were produced. Some of the images show the high-voltage electric fence erected by the Germans in 1915 to put an end to clandestine cross-border traffic between Holland and Belgium. On Belgian territory, the fence ran from the German border, from just behind Vaals (Limbourg) all the way to the Belgian coast. The Elektrische Grenzabsperrungszaun claimed many lives though smugglers soon refined their methods and the border was never completely sealed.
    Willems had studied in England (notably the watercolours of Turner) but was at home with his family in Belgium when war broke out, fleeing to Holland in 1914, where these remarkable and evocative prints were produced and published the following year.

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  • The Queen’s Matrimonial Ladder. by (GEORGE IV and Queen CAROLINE). [George CRUIKSHANK]. (GEORGE IV and Queen CAROLINE). [George CRUIKSHANK]. ~ The Queen’s Matrimonial Ladder. London: William Hone, 1820.
    A ladder-shaped folding toy — a rare graphic satire on the separation of George IV and Queen Caroline published after the opening of the ‘trial’… (more)

    A ladder-shaped folding toy — a rare graphic satire on the separation of George IV and Queen Caroline published after the opening of the ‘trial’ of Queen Caroline on 17 August 1820. It was printed to be sold with a popular pamphlet of the same name, which ran to numerous editions that year, but the two are rarely found preserved together, and the toy/print is very rare (lacking in most library copies). This copy has never been folded into a ladder and is loose, as sold, in its original plain paper wrapper. The form of the print is based on another contemporary paper toy (The Matrimonial Ladder) on the ups and downs of marriage, which was also being offered by sellers of books, prints and novelties in 1820.

    ‘George IV’s determination, following his succession to the throne in 1820, to finally obtain a divorce from his estranged wife, Caroline of Brunswick, sparked an opposition campaign, both in Parliament and in the country, which threatened the survival of Lord Liverpool’s Tory administration. It also led to extensive proceedings in the House of Lords, which took on the appearance of a state trial. On 5 June 1820 Caroline, who had been living abroad for the past six years, arrived unexpectedly in England to claim her right to be crowned queen. The government, under intense pressure from the king, reluctantly agreed to introduce a bill of pains and penalties into the House of Lords, which would have annulled the royal marriage and deprived Caroline of her title. She thereupon became the unlikely beneficiary of a wave of indignant public sympathy, being perceived as a ‘wronged woman’ who was bravely struggling to uphold her rights against a callous political establishment’ (’The Queen Caroline Affair, 1820’ in The History of Parliament, online). BM Satires 13808

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  • Physiologie de la lorette … Vignettes de Gavarny … by ALHOY, Maurice. ALHOY, Maurice. ~ Physiologie de la lorette … Vignettes de Gavarny … Paris: Aubert et Cie … Lavigne …, [ 1841].
    A nice pairing of physiologies, of the courtesan and the married man, illustrative of ‘the craze that swept Paris in the early 1840s for a… (more)

    A nice pairing of physiologies, of the courtesan and the married man, illustrative of ‘the craze that swept Paris in the early 1840s for a series of small illustrated volumes marketed under the general title of physiologies [looking back, perhaps, to Brillat-Savarin’s bestselling Physiologie du goût (1826) and Balzac’s Physiologie du marriage (1830)]. Some 120 different physiologies were issued by various Parisian publishers between 1840 and 1842 (ranging alphabetically from the Physiologie de l’amant to the Physiologie du voyageur), and it is estimated that approximately half a million copies of these pocket-sized books were printed during the same two-year span’ (Sieburth, p. 163).

    Designed for mass consumption, these satirical guides to particular social types were based on ‘the witty interaction of image and text, drawing and caption, seeing and reading … Byproducts of the recent technological advances in printing and paper manufacturing which had made illustrated books more commercially feasible and analogous to the various dioramas and panoramas which enjoyed a considerable popularity during the period, these illustrated anthologies of urban sites and mores catered to the public’s desire to see its social space as a stage or gallery whose intelligibility was guaranteed both by its visibility as image and its legibility as text …

    ‘Quickly produced and marketed, consumed and discarded, … the physiologies (like the sensational tabloids or canards hawked on Paris streetcorners of the period) are early instances of the cheap, throwaway “instant book” whose appeal lies in its very topicality and ephemerality’ (op. cit., pp. 165–7). Richard Sieburth, ‘Same difference: the French Physiologies, 1840–1842’, Notebooks in Cultural Analysis (Duke UP, 1984), pp. 163–200.

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  • This is no Caricature. by [HEATH, William]. [HEATH, William]. ~ This is no Caricature. London: John Doyle, Published by Thomas McLean, 26 Haymarket October 1st 1827.
    In 1827 Harriet Mellon, widow of the banker Thomas Coutts married William Beauclerk, 9th Duke of St Albans. The daughter of a family of travelling… (more)

    In 1827 Harriet Mellon, widow of the banker Thomas Coutts married William Beauclerk, 9th Duke of St Albans. The daughter of a family of travelling players, Harriet had become an actress at an early age and was spotted by Coutts while performing in London. As a young woman she was widely celebrated for her beauty, and was painted by George Romney and Sir Thomas Lawrence. She became wealthy (as a senior partner of Coutts bank) and was 23 years older than Beauclerk on their marriage, providing ample scope for unkind commentary and ammunition for the satirists. Nicknamed ‘The Jolly Duchess’ Harriett enjoyed her wealth, was a great collector and generous patron. She wrote to her friend Sir Walter Scott:

    ‘What a strange eventful life has mine been, from a poor little player child, with just food and clothes to cover me, dependent on a very precarious profession, without talent or a friend in the world – first the wife of the best, the most perfect being that ever breathed …and now the wife of a Duke! You must write my life… my true history written by the author of Waverley’. (Scott’s Journal, 30 June 1827).

    After her death, she left an allowance to the Duke but her fortune passed to step-grandaughter Angela Burdett-Coutts, whose philanthropic association with Dickens is well known. BM Satires 15461. 

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  • Les Soirées du Palais Royal; recueil d’aventures galantes et délicates, publié par un invalide du Palais Royal. by [CUISIN, P., attributed to]. [CUISIN, P., attributed to]. ~ Les Soirées du Palais Royal; recueil d’aventures galantes et délicates, publié par un invalide du Palais Royal. Paris: [Madame veuve Jeunehomme, rue Hauteville, no. 20, for] Plancher, 1815.
    First edition, rare, of this collection of racy tales from the Palais Royal, the fabled European capital of libertinism. Framed as a series of initiatory… (more)

    First edition, rare, of this collection of racy tales from the Palais Royal, the fabled European capital of libertinism. Framed as a series of initiatory narratives on the perils of loose women and gambling, Les Soirées actually contains several anecdotes of sociological interest. One involves a bragging libertine husband, who claims his wife would never cuckold him, only for the narrator to seduce her and to contrive a fitting punishment for his boasts. He arranges adjoining private rooms in a favourite Palais Royale restaurant, sending the husband to one with a complicit mistress, while he himself takes the libertine’s wife to another. As the couples make love, an opening between the two rooms allows them to see just enough of their neighbours to further inflame their desire. Only on leaving the chamber does the husband realise that it was his wife he has seen in flagrante in the other room, and with his friend. After an understandable outburst, a philosophical discussion ensues on the equivalence of female and male desire and morality (see Counter, The Amorous Restoration: Love, Sex, and Politics in Early Nineteenth-Century France, 2016, p. 137).

    The two plates were evidently printed on the same sheet, appearing as a folding frontispiece in some copies.

    Anonymous, it is attributed to Cuisin, who specialised in Palais Royale titillation and produced many similar works. The printer, the widow Jeunehomme is an interesting figure, one of a handful of female printers in Paris at this point and a Bonapartist who was later imprisoned for political reasons (Dictionnaire des femmes libraires en France, 1470-1870). Worldcat locates copies at Bn (without half-title), BL (with half-title) and Johns Hopkins (also 1815, but ‘Second edition’, perhaps an error, confounding this work with an earlier work with a similar title)

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  • Some Fruits of Solitude, in Reflections and Maxims relating to the Conduct of Human Life. The second Edition. by [PENN, William]. [PENN, William]. ~ Some Fruits of Solitude, in Reflections and Maxims relating to the Conduct of Human Life. The second Edition. London: for Thomas Northcott, 1693.
    Second edition (appearing in the same year as the first) of one of the best-loved works of William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania. After Penn’s departure… (more)

    Second edition (appearing in the same year as the first) of one of the best-loved works of William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania. After Penn’s departure from Pennsylvania in 1684, he returned to England. At the time of the Glorious Revolution, and James II’s exile he faced charges of high treason and was forced to remain in seclusion for three years. During that time he wrote Some Fruits of Solitude, a collection of maxims on such subjects as marriage, family, friendship, religion, and the temptations of wealth. Licensed on May 24 1693, the aphorisms were published anonymously (to avoid the author’s reimprisonment for disloyalty) and epitomize the simple Quaker truths upon which the Republic would be based, distilling the essence of Penn’s spiritual idealism, combining it with practicality and common sense. Wing P1369; Smith, Descriptive Catalogue of Friends’ Books, II, p. 309.

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  • Stereoskopischer gerichtsärztlicher Atlas. by LESSER, Adolf. LESSER, Adolf. ~ Stereoskopischer gerichtsärztlicher Atlas. Breslau: Schlesische Verlags-Anstalt v. S. Schottlaender, 1903-5.
    First edition of a pioneering work in the field of forensic medicine, the graphic images depict numerous conditions resulting from homicidal and suicidal injuries. The… (more)

    First edition of a pioneering work in the field of forensic medicine, the graphic images depict numerous conditions resulting from homicidal and suicidal injuries. The grisly and powerful photographs show skull and bone fractures, the impact of gunshot wounds, burns, injuries caused by stabbings, the effects of hanging and so on. Each set of 50 plates is accompanied by a booklet providing details of each image and the important features from the legal-medico cases from which the photographs have been obtained. Heidtmann, Bibliographie der Photographie: Deutschsprachige Publikationen, 14062. OCLC locates 4 US copies and no UK copies.

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  • between the Reform and the People. by A New and Political Form of Matrimony A New and Political Form of Matrimony ~ between the Reform and the People. [London]: T. Birt, No. 39 Great St. Andrew-Street Seven Dia[ls], [ 1832].
    A rare imprint of a popular satire on the Reform movement, in the form of a mock marriage service. The sheet is known with a… (more)

    A rare imprint of a popular satire on the Reform movement, in the form of a mock marriage service. The sheet is known with a J.V. Quick, Spitalfields imprint, but LibrarHub records no copy of this Birt imprint.

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  • The Queen’s Wake: a legendary Poem. by HOGG, James. HOGG, James. ~ The Queen’s Wake: a legendary Poem. Edinburgh: by Andrew Balfour, for George Goldie in Edinburgh and Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown in London, 1813.
    First edition of the ‘Ettrick Shepherd’s’ first major success, the work which placed him on a par with Scott and Byron as fashionable poets of… (more)

    First edition of the ‘Ettrick Shepherd’s’ first major success, the work which placed him on a par with Scott and Byron as fashionable poets of the 1810s. In dialect throughout, the poem imagines a return to Scotland of Mary Queen of Scots, and a poetical contest (the ‘Wake’) held in her honour at Holyrood. Jackson, p. 371.

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  • Le Pardon Prématuré. by CORTHIS, André. Paul VIGOUREUX, illustrator. CORTHIS, André. Paul VIGOUREUX, illustrator. ~ Le Pardon Prématuré. Paris: Fayard, Le Livre de Demain, [1925].
    First edition with the illustrations by Vigoureux. Number 2 of 15 copies with the suite of all 20 wood engravings on chine, all initially by… (more)

    First edition with the illustrations by Vigoureux. Number 2 of 15 copies with the suite of all 20 wood engravings on chine, all initially by the artist. Fayard’s Livres de demain brought examples of the current revival in woodcut and wood engraving to a wide audience at a reasonable price. Accordingly, the illustrations of the regular volumes were printed in large numbers from phototype metal blocks made from the prints, with just 15 copies of each (as here) presented with an additional suite of the original woodcuts specially printed on fine paper.

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  • Giséle, La Guitare et le jazz-band. by DUVERNOIS, Henri. Berthe MARX, illustrator. DUVERNOIS, Henri. Berthe MARX, illustrator. ~ Giséle, La Guitare et le jazz-band. Paris: Fayard, Le Livre de Demain, [1924].
    First edition with the illustrations by Berthe Marx. Number 2 of 15 copies with the suite of all 29 wood engravings on chine, all initially… (more)

    First edition with the illustrations by Berthe Marx. Number 2 of 15 copies with the suite of all 29 wood engravings on chine, all initially by the artist. Fayard’s Livres de demain brought examples of the current revival in woodcut and wood engraving to a wide audience at a reasonable price. Accordingly, the illustrations of the regular volumes were printed in large numbers from phototype metal blocks made from the prints, with just 15 copies of each (as here) presented with an additional suite of the original woodcuts specially printed on fine paper.

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  • La Bataille. by FARRÈRE, Claude. A. ROUBILLE, illustrator. FARRÈRE, Claude. A. ROUBILLE, illustrator. ~ La Bataille. Paris: Fayard, Le Livre de Demain, [1923].
    First edition with the Roubille illustrations. Number 2 of 15 copies with the suite of all 29 wood engravings on chine, all initially by the… (more)

    First edition with the Roubille illustrations. Number 2 of 15 copies with the suite of all 29 wood engravings on chine, all initially by the artist. Fayard’s Livres de demain brought examples of the current revival in woodcut and wood engraving to a wide audience at a reasonable price. Accordingly, the illustrations of the regular volumes were printed in large numbers from phototype metal blocks made from the prints, with just 15 copies of each (as here) presented with an additional suite of the original woodcuts specially printed on fine paper.

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  • Marie-Claire. by AUDOUX, Marguerite. Paul-Émile COLIN, illustrator. AUDOUX, Marguerite. Paul-Émile COLIN, illustrator. ~ Marie-Claire. Paris: Fayard, Le Livre de Demain, [1925].
    First edition with the Colin illustrations of Audoux successful autobiography of a humble rural upbringing (1911).

    Number 2 of 15 copies with the suite of all… (more)

    First edition with the Colin illustrations of Audoux successful autobiography of a humble rural upbringing (1911).

    Number 2 of 15 copies with the suite of all 21 wood engravings on chine, all initially by the artist. Fayard’s Livres de demain brought examples of the current revival in woodcut and wood engraving to a wide audience at a reasonable price. Accordingly, the illustrations of the regular volumes were printed in large numbers from phototype metal blocks made from the prints, with just 15 copies of each (as here) presented with an additional suite of the original woodcuts specially printed on fine paper.

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  • Grangoujon. by BENJAMIN, René. A. ROUBILLE, illustrator. BENJAMIN, René. A. ROUBILLE, illustrator. ~ Grangoujon. Paris: Fayard, Le Livre de Demain, [1925].
    First edition with the illustrations by Roubille, one of 15 copies with all the wood engravings present in a signed suite on chine.

    Fayard’s Livres de… (more)

    First edition with the illustrations by Roubille, one of 15 copies with all the wood engravings present in a signed suite on chine.

    Fayard’s Livres de Demain brought examples of the current revival in woodcut and wood engraving to a wide audience at a reasonable price. Accordingly, the illustrations of the regular volumes were printed in large numbers from phototype metal blocks made from the prints, with just 15 copies of each (as here) presented with an additional suite of the original woodcuts specially printed on fine paper. The series was very popular and ran for several years, with some titles reprinted in successive editions.

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  • Gaspard. by BENJAMIN, Réné. RENEFER, illustrator. BENJAMIN, Réné. RENEFER, illustrator. ~ Gaspard. Paris: Fayard, Le Livre de Demain, [1923].
    First edition of the first of Fayard’s important Livre de Demain series, one of 15 copies with the illustrations in an additional suite on chine,… (more)

    First edition of the first of Fayard’s important Livre de Demain series, one of 15 copies with the illustrations in an additional suite on chine, signed. Benjamin’s Prix Goncourt novel of 1915 was written in hospital while recovering from injuries sustained at Verdun in September 1914 (and first published by Fayard). The wood engravings are among Renefer’s most evocative war illustrations.

    Fayard’s Livres de Demain brought examples of the current revival in woodcut and wood engraving to a wide audience at a reasonable price. Accordingly, the illustrations of the regular volumes were printed in large numbers from phototype metal blocks made from the prints, with just 15 copies of each (as here) presented with an additional suite of the original woodcuts specially printed on fine paper. The series was very popular and ran for several years, with some titles reprinted in successive editions.

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  • La Divine Chanson. by HARRY, Myriam. Ch. J. HALLO, illustrator. HARRY, Myriam. Ch. J. HALLO, illustrator. ~ La Divine Chanson. Paris: Fayard, Le Livre de Demain, [1925].
    First edition with the illustrations by Hallo, number 2 of 15 copies with the suite of all 23 wood engravings on chine, all initialled by… (more)

    First edition with the illustrations by Hallo, number 2 of 15 copies with the suite of all 23 wood engravings on chine, all initialled by the artist. Fayard’s Livres de demain brought examples of the current revival in woodcut and wood engraving to a wide audience at a reasonable price. Accordingly, the illustrations of the regular volumes were printed in large numbers from phototype metal blocks made from the prints, with just 15 copies of each (as here) presented with an additional suite of the original woodcuts specially printed on fine paper.

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  • La Randonnée de Samba Diouf. by FALKÉ, Pierre, illustrator. Jérome and Jean THARAUD. FALKÉ, Pierre, illustrator. Jérome and Jean THARAUD. ~ La Randonnée de Samba Diouf. Paris: Fayard, Le Livre de Demain, [1926].
    First edition with the Falké illustrations, number 2 of 15 copies only with the woodcuts on chine, numbered and initialled by the artist. A colonialist… (more)

    First edition with the Falké illustrations, number 2 of 15 copies only with the woodcuts on chine, numbered and initialled by the artist. A colonialist novel in which a young Senegalese fisherman finds himself enlisted in the army, fighting with the French in the trenches of the Great War. It first appeared in 1922. Fayard’s Livres de demain brought examples of the current revival in woodcut and wood engraving to a wide audience at a reasonable price. Accordingly, the illustrations of the regular volumes were printed in large numbers from phototype metal blocks made from the prints, with just 15 copies of each (as here) presented with an additional suite of the original woodcuts specially printed on fine paper.

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  • [14 coloured erotic cards]. by (EROTICA). (EROTICA). ~ [14 coloured erotic cards]. [?Farnce, c. 1920s].
    14 rare belle époque cards, including: ‘Au Pompe-Dard — Pumping Fashion’; ‘Position du tireur debout — Standing fashion’; ‘Enviander les Brancards — Between the Shafts’,… (more)

    14 rare belle époque cards, including: ‘Au Pompe-Dard — Pumping Fashion’; ‘Position du tireur debout — Standing fashion’; ‘Enviander les Brancards — Between the Shafts’, etc.

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  • My Darling and I. by (EROTICA). (EROTICA). ~ My Darling and I. [Paris, c. 1940s].
    A series of witty and finely executed erotic miniatures, presumably a Paris souvenir made with an anglophone audience in mind, most likely the American servicemen… (more)

    A series of witty and finely executed erotic miniatures, presumably a Paris souvenir made with an anglophone audience in mind, most likely the American servicemen in Paris after 1945.

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  • Devotions to Jesus Christ, in the most holy Sacrament of the Altar: containing, several pious Exercises for honouring this divine Mystery, and approaching it worthily. Composed in French by Dom Morel, a Benedictin monk, who died in 1731, and in the 79th Year of his Age; Author of several other Works of Devotion and Piety. by [MOREL, Robert]. [MOREL, Robert]. ~ Devotions to Jesus Christ, in the most holy Sacrament of the Altar: containing, several pious Exercises for honouring this divine Mystery, and approaching it worthily. Composed in French by Dom Morel, a Benedictin monk, who died in 1731, and in the 79th Year of his Age; Author of several other Works of Devotion and Piety. London: printed for Thomas Meighan, in Drury-Lane, [ 1756?].
    First edition in English. This copy in an attractive Regency binding with an interesting English Catholic provenance: the Hornyold family of Worcestershire. The Blackmore Park… (more)

    First edition in English. This copy in an attractive Regency binding with an interesting English Catholic provenance: the Hornyold family of Worcestershire. The Blackmore Park estate had been in the hands of the Hornyold family since the sixteenth century, and in 1844 Thomas Charles Hornyold donated land for the building of a new Catholic church. The church, with an attached monastery for monks of the Redemptorist order, was paid for by John Vincent Gandolfi, a Genoese silk merchant who had married into the Hornyold family and would inherit the Blackmore Estate in 1859. ESTC: BL, London Oratory, Bodley (several copies), Newberry Library and Clark Library (UCLA).

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