• Les Ballades de Maistre Francois Villon, Francois Villon, illus. Chéri Hérouard, caligraphy ["escrites"] by Raymond de Rigné (chez Cres., Paris, 1919, #188/550 signed by Hérouard) 11.75" X 9.25", 169pp, original french wraps with glassine cover,  31 full page drawings by Hérouard plus 31 small vignette type illustrations. Beautifully printed on heavy deckle edged paper. good condition, all original, minor rubbing, slight foxing on outer pages, inner pages clean, rips in glassine cover at top and bottom of spine. François Villon (c. 1431_1464) was a French poet. Most of what is known about Villon has been gathered from legal records and gleaned from his own writings. He was a thief, killer, barroom brawler, and vagabond. He is perhaps best known for his Testaments and his Ballades. He was the most famous realist poet of the Middle Ages. Chéri Hérouard (1881 - 1961) was a French illustrator who was most famously known for his forty-five-year work for French society magazine, La Vie Parisienne. Under the pseudonym of Herric, he also created erotic and sadomasochistic illustrations for various books including the Kama Sutra.
  • The Most Delectable Nights of Straparola of Caravaggio, the first complete translation into english of "Le tredici piacevolissime notte, de Mesier Giovanni Francesco Straparola", with an introduction and notes, in two volumes, illust. by Léon Lebègue and Adolph Lambrecht (Charles Carrington, "Publisher of Artistic, Folklore and Historical Works", Paris, 1906, #837/1000, #946/1000, [first english translation, first edition] "Printed in Holland at the Printing Works of G. J. Thieme, Nymeguen.") 5.75"x8.5", 2 vol. xvi+352pp, xl+420pp, half blue leather over blue boards, gilt titles and decorations on spine, marbled end papers, top-edge gilt, others deckled, binding matches although mismatched limitation numbers, red and black text and decorations throughout, numerous illustrations, missing the tipped-in full color plates which were sold separately, fair condition, boards bumped and rubbed, front board on vol. 2 detached. Even without the tipped-in plates, this is a rare, beautifully executed, 1st edition, 1st English translation, 1st printing by Charles Carrington, bound in half-leather printed on in red and black throughout on hand-laid paper. Giovanni Francesco "Gianfrancesco" Straparola, also known as Zoan or Zuan Francesco Straparola da Caravaggio (1485?-1558) was a writer of poetry, and collector and writer of short stories. Some time during his life, he migrated from Caravaggio to Venice where he published a collection of stories in two volumes called Le piacevoli notti (1551 and 1553) (The Pleasant Nights, first translated by W. G. Waters in 1901 as "The Facetious Nights"). The Pleasant Nights is the work for which Straparola is most noted, and which contains a total of seventy-five short stories, fables, and fairy tales. The tales, or novelle, are divided into Nights, rather than chapters, and resemble the type of narrative presentation found in Boccaccio's Decameron. This presentation is of a gathering of Italian aristocrats, men and women, who entertain themselves by singing songs, dancing, telling stories and presenting enigmas (riddles). The Pleasant Nights contains many different types of tales, including realistic novellas, stories about practical jokes, tragic and triumphant love stories, bawdy tales, and animal stories. Some sixteen of these 74 tales are fairy tales including the story of Puss-in-Boots, the story of an impoverished boy whose enchanted cat earns him wealth, marriage to a princess, and a kingdom. Among the other fairy tales in The Pleasant Nights, we find a dragon slayer tale; the tale of a prince born in the shape of a pig due to a fairy’s curse who regains his human form only after marrying three time,; the story of Biancabella or “White Beauty” a princes who undergoes many trials until finally being saved by a fairy; and the a poor girl who acquire a magic doll that poops money and helps her marry a prince. It is claimed that many of the stories within The Pleasant Nights had been taken from earlier works, specifically from Girolamo Morlini, a 15th/16th century lawyer from Naples. If taken at his word, Straparola never denied this. In the Dedication at the front of the second volume, Straparola wrote that the stories ". . . written and collected in this volume [vol. 2 only?] are none of mine, but goods which I have feloniously taken from this man and that. Of a truth I confess they are not mine, and if I said otherwise I should lie, but nevertheless I have faithfully set them down according to the manner in which they were told by the ladies, nobles, learned men and gentlemen who gathered together for recreation."
  • The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio, Giovanni Boccaccio, trans. John Payne, illust. Louis Chalon (Lawrence and Bullen, London, 1893, #32/1000 hand numbered, first edition thus) 11.25" X 7.5", 325pp 383pp, hardcover, half red morocco over red pebbled boards, gilt titles and decorations on spine, five raised bands, laid paper, top-edge gilt, marbled end papers, 15 full-page B&W Illustrations with tissue guards, good condition for age, some bumping to corners and slight wear, front endpapers on vol. 2 becoming detached but holding, a rare leather-bound copy of an low numbered limited edition. This is a beautifully leather-bound, nicely illustrated late nineteenth century edition of The Decameron from Lawrence and Bullen. The Decameron, (subtitled Prencipe Galeotto or Prince Galehaut), is a collection of novellas by the 14th-century Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375). The book is structured as a frame story containing 100 tales told by a group of seven young women and three young men sheltering in a secluded villa just outside Florence to escape the Black Death, which was afflicting the city. To make their exile more pleasant each of the ten tells the others one story every day. The Decameron records the narratives of ten days -- 100 stories. Boccaccio probably conceived of The Decameron after the epidemic of 1348, and completed it by 1353. These tales run the entire range of human emotion: grief, love, humor, anger, revenge. Many are based on oral folklore. Boccaccio's ten narrators thus retell already familiar stories about errant priests, rascally husbands, and mischievous wives. Variants of these stories are known in many cultures, but no one formulates them more cleverly or relates them more eloquently than does Boccaccio. In addition to its literary value and widespread influence, it provides a document of life at the time. Written in the vernacular of the Florentine language, it is considered a masterpiece of classical early Italian prose. Arthur Henry Bullen, often known as A. H. Bullen, (1857-1920) was an English editor and publisher, and a specialist in 16th and 17th century literature. His father George Bullen was librarian at the British Museum. A. H. Bullen's interest in Elizabethan dramatists and poets started at the City of London School, before he went to Worcester College, Oxford to study classics. His publishing career began with a scholarly edition of the Works of John Day in 1881 and continued with series of English Dramatists and a seven-volume set of Old English Plays, some of which he had discovered in manuscript and published for the first time. Bullen wrote more than 150 articles for the Dictionary of National Biography, lectured on Elizabethan dramatists at Oxford University and taught at Toynbee Hall. In 1891 he and H. W. Lawrence went into partnership as the publishers Lawrence & Bullen. This lasted until 1900 when Bullen moved on to publish as A. H. Bullen. With Frank Sidgwick as partner, he then formed the Shakespeare Head Press for which he is most known.
  • Tales and Novels of J. De La Fontaine with 12 original etchings by Clara Tice ("Privately Printed at the printing house of G. J. Thieme, Nijmegen - Holland, 1929, first edition thus [#472/990 signed by Clara Tice) 6.5"x10", 2 vol. xvi+204pp; xvi+271pp, light blue boards with vellum spine, poor copy, spine is missing from vol. 2, soiling and stains throughout including some of the illustrations, boards loose, vol. 2 back board detached Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695) was a French fabulist and one of the most widely read French poets of the 17th century. After a long period of royal suspicion, he was admitted to the French Academy and his reputation in France has never faded since. Evidence of this is found in the many pictures and statues of the writer, as well as later depictions on medals, coins and postage stamps. The numerous works of La Fontaine fall into three traditional divisions: the Fables, the Tales and the miscellaneous (including dramatic) works. He is best known for the first of these, in which a tradition of fable collecting in French verse reaching back to the Middle Ages was brought to a peak. He published 245 fables, across twelve books between 1668 and 1694, exemplify the grace and wit of his age. Unlike many of his models, his fables function less as didactic tools and more as entertaining art. His beasts, humans, and plants are not merely moral-serving abstractions but rather lively actors in elegantly described escapades. Almost equally as popular in their time, his "tales", Contes et nouvelles en vers (1665), is an anthology of various ribald short stories and novellas collected and versified from prose. They were particularly marked by their archly licentious tone. La Fontaine drew from several French and Italian works of the 15th and 16th centuries, among them The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio, Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, Antoine de la Sale's collection Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles, and the work of Bonaventure des Périers.
  • Tales and Novels in verse by J. De La Fontaine, with one hundred and twenty-three engravings by and after Einsen, Lancret, Boucher, Pater, etc. printed from original copper plates (Printed for The Society of English Bibliophilists, London, nd.[1896 first edition, limited edition, one of 520]) 7.25"x10", 2 vol. xix+235pp; xvi+241pp, Very rare full leather, fine binding, copy of equally rare book, gilt borders on boards, gilt titles and decorations on spine, 5 raised bands, marbled pastedowns with gilt decorations on edge, top edge gilt, other edges deckled, good+ condition, very minor foxing as befits its age, some cracking/splitting at top and bottom of spines Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695) was a French fabulist and one of the most widely read French poets of the 17th century. After a long period of royal suspicion, he was admitted to the French Academy and his reputation in France has never faded since. Evidence of this is found in the many pictures and statues of the writer, as well as later depictions on medals, coins and postage stamps. The numerous works of La Fontaine fall into three traditional divisions: the Fables, the Tales and the miscellaneous (including dramatic) works. He is best known for the first of these, in which a tradition of fable collecting in French verse reaching back to the Middle Ages was brought to a peak. He published 245 fables, across twelve books between 1668 and 1694, exemplify the grace and wit of his age. Unlike many of his models, his fables function less as didactic tools and more as entertaining art. His beasts, humans, and plants are not merely moral-serving abstractions but rather lively actors in elegantly described escapades. Almost equally as popular in their time, his "tales", Contes et nouvelles en vers (1665), is an anthology of various ribald short stories and novellas collected and versified from prose. They were particularly marked by their archly licentious tone. La Fontaine drew from several French and Italian works of the 15th and 16th centuries, among them The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio, Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, Antoine de la Sale's collection Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles, and the work of Bonaventure des Périers.
  • Nouvelles de Jean Boccace, Giovanni Boccaccio, trans. Mirabeau, illus. Marillier, engraved by Ponce [according to the Museum of Fine Arts - Boston, "Illustrated by Clément Pierre Marillier, Engraved by Wilbrode-Magloire-Nicolas Courbe, Engraved by Remi Henri Joseph Delvaux, Engraved by Nicholas Ponce, Etched by Devilliers, Author Giovanni Boccaccio, Publisher L. Duprat, Letellier et Cie, Printer A. Egron"] (Chez L. Duprat, Paris, 1802) 8" X 5.25", 4 vol. xx 304pp, 273pp, 243pp, 293pp, leather bound with gilt decorations on spine and around edges of boards, marbled end papers, armorial bookplate of the Earl of Normanton on all vols. gilt edges (mostly soiled). Owner's signature on front pages "A. Baillu 1819" Ribbons intact. Numerous beautifuly and detailed plates throughout. Good condition for age. Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, Comte de Mirabeau (1749-1791) was a French writer, popular orator and statesman (who communicated with Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin). He is remembered for his books Erotica biblion, Ma conversion, and his love letters to Sophie which written during his imprisonment at the donjon de Vincennes between 1777-1780 (while another prisoner, the Marquis de Sade was also incarcerated there. Yes, they met... No, they didn't like each other.) This book was also written in the Vincennes prison. According to Mirabeau's biography this was a "collection presented as a translation of Boccaccio, but which, as the author himself confesses in his introduction, is nothing more than simple sketches of some of the tales in the Decameron.... Mirabeau imitated some of the licentious tales which alone are known to the general reader, but took no notice of the other articles which abound in the Decameron, because they neither suited his views nor the public taste." A beautiful and rare book with exquisite engravings. This book is in the collection at the MFA-Boston and other museums.
  • The Most Delectable Nights of Straparola of Caravaggio, the first complete translation into english of "Le tredici piacevolissime notte, de Mesier Giovanni Francesco Straparola", with an introduction and notes, in two volumes, illust. by Léon Lebègue and Adolph Lambrecht (Charles Carrington, "Publisher of Artistic, Folklore and Historical Works", Paris, 1906, #152/1000, [first english translation, first edition] "Printed in Holland at the Printing Works of G. J. Thieme, Nymeguen.") 5.75"x8.5", 2 vol. xvi+352pp, xl+420pp, top edge gilt other edges deckled, blue boards with gilt borders and gilt lettering to the spines, red and black text and decorations throughout, numerous illustrations, both vignettes within text and tipped-in full color plates with descriptive tissue guards, handsome good+ copy for age, some foxing, small tear at top of vol. 1 spine, slight sunning to boards. This is a rare, beautifully executed, 1st edition, 1st English translation, 1st printing, low number limited edition, by Charles Carrington. Giovanni Francesco "Gianfrancesco" Straparola, also known as Zoan or Zuan Francesco Straparola da Caravaggio (1485?-1558) was a writer of poetry, and collector and writer of short stories. Some time during his life, he migrated from Caravaggio to Venice where he published a collection of stories in two volumes called Le piacevoli notti (1551 and 1553) (The Pleasant Nights, first translated by W. G. Waters in 1901 as "The Facetious Nights"). The Pleasant Nights is the work for which Straparola is most noted, and which contains a total of seventy-five short stories, fables, and fairy tales. The tales, or novelle, are divided into Nights, rather than chapters, and resemble the type of narrative presentation found in Boccaccio's Decameron. This presentation is of a gathering of Italian aristocrats, men and women, who entertain themselves by singing songs, dancing, telling stories and presenting enigmas (riddles). The Pleasant Nights contains many different types of tales, including realistic novellas, stories about practical jokes, tragic and triumphant love stories, bawdy tales, and animal stories. Some sixteen of these 74 tales are fairy tales including the story of Puss-in-Boots, the story of an impoverished boy whose enchanted cat earns him wealth, marriage to a princess, and a kingdom. Among the other fairy tales in The Pleasant Nights, we find a dragon slayer tale; the tale of a prince born in the shape of a pig due to a fairy’s curse who regains his human form only after marrying three time,; the story of Biancabella or “White Beauty” a princes who undergoes many trials until finally being saved by a fairy; and the a poor girl who acquire a magic doll that poops money and helps her marry a prince. It is claimed that many of the stories within The Pleasant Nights had been taken from earlier works, specifically from Girolamo Morlini, a 15th/16th century lawyer from Naples. If taken at his word, Straparola never denied this. In the Dedication at the front of the second volume, Straparola wrote that the stories ". . . written and collected in this volume [vol. 2 only?] are none of mine, but goods which I have feloniously taken from this man and that. Of a truth I confess they are not mine, and if I said otherwise I should lie, but nevertheless I have faithfully set them down according to the manner in which they were told by the ladies, nobles, learned men and gentlemen who gathered together for recreation."
  • The Most Delectable Nights of Straparola of Caravaggio, the first complete translation into english of "Le tredici piacevolissime notte, de Mesier Giovanni Francesco Straparola", with an introduction and notes, in two volumes, illust. by Léon Lebègue and Adolph Lambrecht (Charles Carrington, "Publisher of Artistic, Folklore and Historical Works", Paris, 1906, #390/1000, #290/1000, [first english translation, first edition] "Printed in Holland at the Printing Works of G. J. Thieme, Nymeguen.") 5.75"x8.5", 2 vol. xvi+352pp, xl+420pp, half red leather over red boards, gilt titles and decorations on spine, marbled endpapers and marbled edges, binding matches although mismatched limitation numbers (2nd vol. has 219 crossed out and 390 written in), red and black text and decorations throughout, numerous illustrations, both vignettes within text and tipped-in full color plates with descriptive tissue guards, fair condition, boards bumped and rubbed, front board on vol. 1 detached, vol. 2 title on spine half ripped, mild foxing throughout This is a rare, beautifully executed, 1st edition, 1st English translation, 1st printing by Charles Carrington, bound in half-leather printed on in red and black throughout on hand-laid paper. Giovanni Francesco "Gianfrancesco" Straparola, also known as Zoan or Zuan Francesco Straparola da Caravaggio (1485?-1558) was a writer of poetry, and collector and writer of short stories. Some time during his life, he migrated from Caravaggio to Venice where he published a collection of stories in two volumes called Le piacevoli notti (1551 and 1553) (The Pleasant Nights, first translated by W. G. Waters in 1901 as "The Facetious Nights"). The Pleasant Nights is the work for which Straparola is most noted, and which contains a total of seventy-five short stories, fables, and fairy tales. The tales, or novelle, are divided into Nights, rather than chapters, and resemble the type of narrative presentation found in Boccaccio's Decameron. This presentation is of a gathering of Italian aristocrats, men and women, who entertain themselves by singing songs, dancing, telling stories and presenting enigmas (riddles). The Pleasant Nights contains many different types of tales, including realistic novellas, stories about practical jokes, tragic and triumphant love stories, bawdy tales, and animal stories. Some sixteen of these 74 tales are fairy tales including the story of Puss-in-Boots, the story of an impoverished boy whose enchanted cat earns him wealth, marriage to a princess, and a kingdom. Among the other fairy tales in The Pleasant Nights, we find a dragon slayer tale; the tale of a prince born in the shape of a pig due to a fairy’s curse who regains his human form only after marrying three time,; the story of Biancabella or “White Beauty” a princes who undergoes many trials until finally being saved by a fairy; and the a poor girl who acquire a magic doll that poops money and helps her marry a prince. It is claimed that many of the stories within The Pleasant Nights had been taken from earlier works, specifically from Girolamo Morlini, a 15th/16th century lawyer from Naples. If taken at his word, Straparola never denied this. In the Dedication at the front of the second volume, Straparola wrote that the stories ". . . written and collected in this volume [vol. 2 only?] are none of mine, but goods which I have feloniously taken from this man and that. Of a truth I confess they are not mine, and if I said otherwise I should lie, but nevertheless I have faithfully set them down according to the manner in which they were told by the ladies, nobles, learned men and gentlemen who gathered together for recreation."
  • Novellen und Cymbalum Mundi: Die neuen Schwänke und lustigen Unterhaltungen gefolgt von der Weltbimmel (VOL 2 only), by Bonaventure Des Periers. "For the first time translated from French and introduced by Hanns Floerke with 10 illustrations by Franz von Bayros" (Georg Müller, München und Leipzig 1910) 5.25"x7", 404pp, vol 2 of 2, top edge gilt, other edges deckled, 3/4 vellum on green boards, 10 illustrations by Bayros tipped in, ribbon present but detached, good+ condition. German translation of Des Periers short stories and Cymbalum Mundi, Four Very Ancient Joyous and Facetious Dialogues.  Bonaventure des Périers (c. 1500 – 1544) was a French storyteller and humanist who attained notoriety as a freethinker. Margaret of Angoulême, queen of Navarre, made him her valet de chambre in 1536. He acted as her secretary and transcribed her Heptaméron; some maintain that he in fact wrote the work. The free discussions permitted at Margaret’s court encouraged a license of thought as displeasing to the Calvinists as to the Roman Catholics; it became skepticism in Des Périers’s Cymbalum Mundi, a brilliant and violent attack upon Christianity. The allegorical form of its four dialogues in imitation of the Greek rhetorician Lucian did not conceal its real meaning. It was suppressed (c. 1538), but it was reprinted in Paris in the same year. His book made many bitter enemies for Des Périers, who prudently left Paris and settled at Lyon. Tradition has it that he killed himself in 1544, but this is questionable. Franz von Bayros (1866–1924) was an Austrian commercial artist, illustrator, and painter, best known for his controversial Tales at the Dressing Table portfolio, a book considered so dangerous to the morality of the time that Von Bayros was arrested and forced into exile. He was obliged to move from one European capital to another as each outrageous new work was banned by the authorities.
  • The Most Pleasant and Delectable Questions of Love, by Giovanni Boccaccio, illus. by Alexander King (Three Sirens Press, [copyright, Illustrated Editions Company, New York] 1931) 6.5"x9.5", 133pp, gilt top-edge other edges deckled, tan and maroon boards, binding good, some soiling and edges bumped. "The translation of 1566 [the fourth part of Filocolo] by H. G. Put into modern English with an introduction by Thomas Bell." This book is 13 chapters of one of Boccaccio's longer works, "Il libro di Difinizioni", first translated into English by "H.G." (probably Henry Grantham) in London, 1566. In these chapters, a group of young people have gone to the country for the day. One of the young women is chosen "The Queen of Love." Each young person tells a love story and poses a question about love. The group answers; there is no right or wrong. But the final arbiter, "The Queen of Love," holds the answers. Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375) was an Italian author and poet, a friend, student, and correspondent of Petrarch, an important Renaissance humanist and the author of a number of notable works including the Decameron, On Famous Women, and his poetry in the Italian vernacular. Boccaccio is particularly notable for his dialogue, of which it has been said that it surpasses in verisimilitude that of virtually all of his contemporaries, since they were medieval writers and often followed formulaic models for character and plot. Alexander King (1899–1965), born Alexander Koenig in Vienna, was a bestselling humorist, memoirist and media personality of the early television era, based in the United States. In his late fifties, after becoming a frequent guest on the a Tonight Show hosted by Jack Paar, King emerged as an incongruous presence in the realm of national celebrity: an aging, irascible raconteur, with elegant mannerisms and trademark bow-tie, who spoke frankly and disarmingly about his bohemian lifestyle, multiple marriages, and years-long struggle with drug addiction. His checkered past led TIME magazine to describe him as "an ex-illustrator, ex-cartoonist, ex-adman, ex-editor, ex-playwright, ex-dope addict. For a quarter-century he was an ex-painter, and by his own bizarre account qualifies as an ex-midwife. He is also an ex-husband to three wives and an ex-Viennese of sufficient age (60) to remember muttonchopped Emperor Franz Joseph. When doctors told him a few years ago that he might soon be an ex-patient (two strokes, serious kidney disease, peptic ulcer, high blood pressure), he sat down to tell gay stories of the life of all these earlier Kings."
  • The Most Pleasant and Delectable Questions of Love, by Giovanni Boccaccio, illus. by Alexander King (Illustrated Editions Company, New York, 1931) 6.5"x9.5", 133pp, red and black boards, binding good, some yellowing to pages. "The translation of 1566 [the fourth part of Filocolo] by H. G. Put into modern English with an introduction by Thomas Bell." This book is 13 chapters of one of Boccaccio's longer works, "Il libro di Difinizioni", first translated into English by "H.G." (probably Henry Grantham) in London, 1566. In these chapters, a group of young people have gone to the country for the day. One of the young women is chosen "The Queen of Love." Each young person tells a love story and poses a question about love. The group answers; there is no right or wrong. But the final arbiter, "The Queen of Love," holds the answers. Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375) was an Italian author and poet, a friend, student, and correspondent of Petrarch, an important Renaissance humanist and the author of a number of notable works including the Decameron, On Famous Women, and his poetry in the Italian vernacular. Boccaccio is particularly notable for his dialogue, of which it has been said that it surpasses in verisimilitude that of virtually all of his contemporaries, since they were medieval writers and often followed formulaic models for character and plot. Alexander King (1899–1965), born Alexander Koenig in Vienna, was a bestselling humorist, memoirist and media personality of the early television era, based in the United States. In his late fifties, after becoming a frequent guest on the a Tonight Show hosted by Jack Paar, King emerged as an incongruous presence in the realm of national celebrity: an aging, irascible raconteur, with elegant mannerisms and trademark bow-tie, who spoke frankly and disarmingly about his bohemian lifestyle, multiple marriages, and years-long struggle with drug addiction. His checkered past led TIME magazine to describe him as "an ex-illustrator, ex-cartoonist, ex-adman, ex-editor, ex-playwright, ex-dope addict. For a quarter-century he was an ex-painter, and by his own bizarre account qualifies as an ex-midwife. He is also an ex-husband to three wives and an ex-Viennese of sufficient age (60) to remember muttonchopped Emperor Franz Joseph. When doctors told him a few years ago that he might soon be an ex-patient (two strokes, serious kidney disease, peptic ulcer, high blood pressure), he sat down to tell gay stories of the life of all these earlier Kings."  
  • The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio, Giovanni Boccaccio, trans. Richard Aldington, illustrated by Rockwell Kent (Garden City Books, Garden City, NY, 1949 [date of illustrations]) 9 1/2" X 6 3/8", 562pp, hardbound with DJ (with some rips) protected by mylar, green boards with cream spine, great condition. This is the popular (at the time) Garden City edition.  Superb art deco color illustrations throughout by Rockwell Kent (famous illustrator of Moby Dick and others). The Decameron, (subtitled Prencipe Galeotto or Prince Galehaut), is a collection of novellas by the 14th-century Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375). The book is structured as a frame story containing 100 tales told by a group of seven young women and three young men sheltering in a secluded villa just outside Florence to escape the Black Death, which was afflicting the city. To make their exile more pleasant each of the ten tells the others one story every day. The Decameron records the narratives of ten days -- 100 stories. Boccaccio probably conceived of The Decameron after the epidemic of 1348, and completed it by 1353. These tales run the entire range of human emotion: grief, love, humor, anger, revenge. Many are based on oral folklore. Boccaccio's ten narrators thus retell already familiar stories about errant priests, rascally husbands, and mischievous wives. Variants of these stories are known in many cultures, but no one formulates them more cleverly or relates them more eloquently than does Boccaccio. In addition to its literary value and widespread influence, it provides a document of life at the time. Written in the vernacular of the Florentine language, it is considered a masterpiece of classical early Italian prose.
  • Out of stock
    The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio, Giovanni Boccaccio, trans. Richard Aldington, illustrated by Rockwell Kent (Garden City Books, Garden City, NY, 1949 [date of illustrations]) 9 1/2" X 6 3/8", 562pp, hardbound with DJ protected by mylar, green boards with cream spine, great condition, "withdrawn" stamped on bottom edge and inside cover. This is the popular (at the time) Garden City edition.  Superb art deco color illustrations throughout by Rockwell Kent (famous illustrator of Moby Dick and others). The Decameron, (subtitled Prencipe Galeotto or Prince Galehaut), is a collection of novellas by the 14th-century Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375). The book is structured as a frame story containing 100 tales told by a group of seven young women and three young men sheltering in a secluded villa just outside Florence to escape the Black Death, which was afflicting the city. To make their exile more pleasant each of the ten tells the others one story every day. The Decameron records the narratives of ten days -- 100 stories. Boccaccio probably conceived of The Decameron after the epidemic of 1348, and completed it by 1353. These tales run the entire range of human emotion: grief, love, humor, anger, revenge. Many are based on oral folklore. Boccaccio's ten narrators thus retell already familiar stories about errant priests, rascally husbands, and mischievous wives. Variants of these stories are known in many cultures, but no one formulates them more cleverly or relates them more eloquently than does Boccaccio. In addition to its literary value and widespread influence, it provides a document of life at the time. Written in the vernacular of the Florentine language, it is considered a masterpiece of classical early Italian prose.
  • Das Dekameron, by Giovanni Baccaccio, illustrated by F. v. Bayros. With a foreword by Hanns Heinz Ewers (Verlag Neues Leben. Berlin., 1913) 5.25"x7", 612pp + 4 pages of ads, hardcover, half buckram with gilt title and decorations, very good condition. German language of Boccaccio's Decameron with 6 illustrations by Franz von Bayros. The Decameron, (subtitled Prencipe Galeotto or Prince Galehaut), is a collection of novellas by the 14th-century Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375). The book is structured as a frame story containing 100 tales told by a group of seven young women and three young men sheltering in a secluded villa just outside Florence to escape the Black Death, which was afflicting the city. To make their exile more pleasant each of the ten tells the others one story every day. The Decameron records the narratives of ten days -- 100 stories. Boccaccio probably conceived of The Decameron after the epidemic of 1348, and completed it by 1353. These tales run the entire range of human emotion: grief, love, humor, anger, revenge. Many are based on oral folklore. Boccaccio's ten narrators thus retell already familiar stories about errant priests, rascally husbands, and mischievous wives. Variants of these stories are known in many cultures, but no one formulates them more cleverly or relates them more eloquently than does Boccaccio. In addition to its literary value and widespread influence, it provides a document of life at the time. Written in the vernacular of the Florentine language, it is considered a masterpiece of classical early Italian prose.
  • The Pleasure Primer, a rare collection of intimate entertainment...a guide to fun and revelry...a primer for hale and hearty living, Ed. Walter S. Keating, Illus. Alton Pickens (Plaza Book Company, New York, 1943) 8" x 5.5", 128pp., soft covers, near fine condition.
  • Les métamorphoses ou l'asne d'or de Luce Apulée philosophe platonique, Lucius Apuleius Madaurensis (124-170 AD), trans. Jules De Marthold, illust. [21 etchings] Martin van Maele (Charles Carrington, Librairie-Éditeur, 1905, Paris, #88/750) 7.75" X 5.75", xlviii+328pp., original soft wraps protected by glassine wraps, Chapter pieces in orange and black, tail pieces in black, large, decorative first letter of each chapter, frontispiece + 21 full-page b/w engravings with tissue guards and numerous in-text illustrations by Martin van Maele, very good condition for age. The Metamorphoses of Apuleius, which St. Augustine referred to as "The Golden Ass", is the only Ancient Roman novel in Latin to survive in its entirety. The plot Lucius and his curiosity and insatiable desire to see and practice magic. While trying to perform a spell to transform into a bird, he is accidentally transformed into an ass. This leads to a long journey, literal and metaphorical, filled with in-set tales. He finally finds salvation through the intervention of the goddess Isis, whose cult he joins. The date of the original work is uncertain. Scholars are not sure if he wrote it in his youth or at the end of his life. He adapted the story from a Greek story written by Lucius of Patrae, however his original Greek text has long been lost. Maurice François Alfred Martin van Miële (1863-5 - 1926), better known by his pseudonym Martin van Maële, was a French illustrator of early 20th century literature. Though he gained notoriety with his illustration for H. G. Wells in Les Premiers Hommes dans la Lune, and he worked as an illustrator for the Félix Juven's French translations of the Sherlock Holmes series, he is now most widely renowned and mostly remembered for his erotic illustrations. This is a beautiful and rare book in it's original paper wraps.  
  • One Hundred Merrie and Delightsome Stories, ed. by Antoine de La Sale, trans. Robert B. Douglas (Charles Carrington, Paris, 1899 [pirated facimile reprint, probably New York, c.1930 states "privately printed from the Charles Carrington Paris 1899 edition] #294/1250) 8" X 5.75", two volumes, xxx+532pp, pagination continuous. Fifty-two b&w plates by Léon Lebègue, marbled boards, gilt on spine, top edge gilt, other edges deckled, very good condition, minor bumping, some stains on front cover of vol. 2 Charles Carrington was the first to have this translated into English. This is a pirated copy, but still very nicely printed on good paper, the illustrations are in B&W. Purported a collection of short stories narrated by various persons at the court of Philippe le Bon, and collected together by Antoine de la Sale, the nouvelles are, according to the authority on French Literature—Professor George Saintsbury "undoubtedly the first work of literary prose in French ... The short prose tale of a comic character is the one French literary product the pre-eminence and perfection of which it is impossible to dispute, and the prose tale first appears to advantage in the Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles." The stories give a curious glimpses of life in the 15th century, providing a genuine view of the social condition of the nobility and the middle classes. M. Lenient, a French critic, says: "Generally the incidents and personages belong to the bourgeoisée; there is nothing chivalric, nothing wonderful; no dreamy lovers, romantic dames, fairies, or enchanters. Noble dames, bourgeois, nuns, knights, merchants, monks, and peasants mutually dupe each other. The lord deceives the miller's wife by imposing on her simplicity, and the miller retaliates in much the same manner. The shepherd marries the knight's sister, and the nobleman is not over scandalized. The vices of the monks are depicted in half a score tales, and the seducers are punished with a severity not always in proportion to the offence." For four centuries 10 of the stories were credited to Louis XI. Modern scholars have since ascribed them to either Philippe le Bel or Comte de Charolais. In all, some thirty-two noblemen or squires contributed the stories, with some 14 or 15 taken from Giovanni Boccaccio, and as many more from Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini or other Italian writers, or French fabliaux, but about 70 of them appear to be original.
  • Les Facetieuses Nuits de Straparole, Giovanni Francesco Straparola, trans. Jean Louveau, illus. L_on Lebègue. Preface by Jules de Marthold (Charles Carrington, Paris, 1907 #213/800) 9.5" x 6.25", 2 vol. lxxxvii+312pp. vi+371pp. 1/2 leather over marbled boards, 4 raised bands on spine gilt lettering and decorations, marbled endpapers, gilted top-edge, others deckled, many color illustrations protected by tissues with descrptions printed on them, text decorations throughout, near fine condition, book binder tag for "Hans Uttinger, Buchbinderei, Einrahmungsgeschäft, Luzern" The Facetious Nights of Straparola (1550-1555; Italian: Le piacevoli notti), also known as The Nights of Straparola, is a two-volume collection of 75 stories by Italian author and fairy-tale collector Giovanni Francesco Straparola(c.1480-c.1557). Modeled after Bocaccio's Decameron, it has participants of a 13-night party in the island of Murano, near Venice, tell each other stories that vary from bawdy to fantastic. It contains the first known written versions of many fairy tales. It would influence later fairy-tale authors like Charles Perrault and Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. This book is a very rare and famous (and famously illustrated) edition.  A beautiful copy of a beautifully made book.
  • Mark Twain's "1601" Conversation as it was by the Social Fireside in the Time of the Tudors, Mark Twain (Privately Printed, Mexico City, 1943, stated limited to 1000 copies, unnumbered) 4.75"x7.25", 27pp, pamphlet, good condition scuff marks on covers and slight soiling. [Date: 1601.] Conversation, as it was the Social Fireside, in the Time of the Tudors is the title of a humorous work by Mark Twain, first published anonymously in 1880. Edward Wagenknecht once referred to it as "the most famous piece of pornography in American literature." Its content is irreverent and vulgar rather than obscene, and its purpose seems to be comedic shock rather than erotic arousal. It would thus qualify as ribaldry rather than pornography. Twain wrote 1601 during the summer of 1876 (between writing Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn), for the amusement of his closest friend, Reverend Joseph Twichell, 1601 was later first published by another friend, John Hay, who later became Secretary of State. The work circulated among printers (due to it's often archaic type font) and many small batches were printed, however the authorship of the work remained unverified until Twain finally acknowledged he wrote it in 1906.
  • The secret history of the most renowned Q. Elizabeth and the E. of Essex, "By a Person of Quality", ("Printed for R. Wellington, at the Dolphin and Crown in St. Paul's Churchyard, 1708. Where you may be furnish'd with all sorts of Plays.") 3.25"x5.5", in two parts with separate title pages 1-62,63-112pp(of 115?), bound in brown leather, no front or rear endpapers, not illustrated, poor condition, binding and boards are solid but pages soiled and edges tattered, page 111/112 piece torn off, pages 113-155 missing, writing (alphabet letters) near and on part one title page. By the late seventeenth century, Elizabeth's love life became a subject of obsession in England and especially in France. This book is the most famous of the absurd tattle-tale books. It was a translation of Comte d'Essex histoire angloise first published in 1678 by Claude Barbin – a Parisian publisher who edited the works of Molière, La Fontaine, Charles Perrault and Corneille. The earliest translations to english date show up around 1680. Most of them have a false imprint of "Cologne : Printed for Will with the Wisp". Few are seen with this particular imprint. The story was turned into a play and in 1912 adapted as a silent film entitled Les Amours de la reine Élisabeth starring Sarah Bernhardt as Elizabeth.