• Aphrodite, mæurs antiques, by Pierre Louÿs, illus. A. Calbet (Librairie Borel, Paris, 1896) 3.75"x 6.75", 392pp, full red leather with gilt decorations and titles, 4 raised bands, beautifully bound, decorated pastedowns, a fine example, good+ condition, some rubbing and bumping Pierre Louys (1870 - 1925) was a French poet and writer, most renowned for lesbian and classical themes in some of his writings. He is known as a writer who "expressed pagan sensuality with stylistic perfection." "Aphrodite: mæurs antiques" (Ancient Manners) is a "libertine" story set in ancient Alexandria. Highlights include the loves of Chrysis, an orgy banquet ending in the crucifixion of a slave, the love of two young musician girls and the festivals of Aphrodite. Antoine Calbet (1860-1942) was a French painter, watercolourist, draftsman, engraver and illustrator.
  • 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.
  • One Hundred Merrie and Delightsome Stories, ed. by Antoine de La Sale, trans. Robert B. Douglas, illust. Leon Lebegue, illust. Adolphe Lalauze (Charles Carrington, Paris, 1899 [first edition, first english translation]) 8" X 5.75", vol 1. 1-256, vol 2. 257-532, full morocco leather, olive green to maroon, gilt decorations, 5 raised bands, marbled endpapers with gilt edging on pastedowns, excellent condition for age, includes complete set of 52 hand-colored plates by Lebegue (originally sold separately) as well as complete set of 10 engravings by AD LaLuze after art by Jules Garnier, vol. 1 ribbon present but detatched, vol. 2. ribbon intact. Charles Carrington was the first to have this translated into English. This is a RARE full-leather version with ALL 52 colored plates! Also rare are the 10 engravings by LaLauze, which originally appeared in a French version. 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.
  • One Hundred Merrie and Delightsome Stories, ed. by Antoine de La Sale, trans. Robert B. Douglas (Charles Carrington, Paris, 1899 [first edition, first english translation]) 8" X 5.75", xxx 532pp, 3/4 tan morocco leather over marbled boards, gilt title on spine, 5 raised bands, marbled endpapers, excellent condition for age, ribbon intact, small tear at top of front cover. No illustrations One Hundred Merrie And Delightsome Stories (from the original French "Cent Nouvelles nouvelles" France, c. 1456-1461) is a collection of stories supposed to be narrated by various persons at the court of Philippe le Bon, and collected together by Antoine de la Sale in the mid 15th century. Charles Carrington was the first to have this translated into English. This edition does not contain the illustrations which were sold separately.
  • 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.
  • The Autobiography of a Flea, told in a hop, skip, and jump: Recounting all his Experiences of the Human, and Superhuman, Kind, both Male and Female; with his Curious Connections, Backbitings, and Tickling Touches; the whole scratched together and arranged for the Delectation of the Delicate, and for the Information of the Inquisitive. annonymous [disputed but believed to be Stanislas de Rodes, a London lawyer] ("Published by the Authority of The Phlebotomical Society, Cytheria, 1789 [a false imprint, according to Mendez, most likely printed by A. Lefevre (Brussels) for Mlle. Doucé (Paris) c.1890. It is possible that Charles Carrington introduced Doucé to the book as he just arrived in Paris (exiled from England).]) 4.75" x 7.75", 190pp, full red Moroccan leather with gilt boarders, 5 raised bands, gilt decorations and title on spine, gilt decorations border paste-downs, top edge gilt, no illustrations present, text decorations throughout, boards loose, signatures loose, some pages detached. A good copy of a VERY rare fine-binding edition of a very rare book. I can find no other copies for sale or in WorldCat. Written from the point of view of a very observant flea, the story is of the exploits of a young girl and a monastery of corrupt monks. The prose is very well written, erotic, and entertaining, with detailed full-length descriptions, good scene setting, and tension buildups. A question hangs over its authorship who has been referred to as ‘un avocat anglais, bien connu a` Londres’ [an advocate well known in London], suggested to be Frederick Popham Pike, the only barrister known to be writing pornography at this time. Other contenders for its authorship include Frederick Hankey, who died in 1882, Henry Spencer Ashbee, and the current favorite, Stanislas de Rodes. CHARACTERS The Flea: The Narrator of the story is a flea whose name is never revealed. The novel begins with the flea asserting that though he gets his living by blood sucking he is "not the lowest of that universal fraternity". The flea further asserts that his intelligence and abilities of observation and communication are comparable to a human, and demurs from any explanation of the cause, adding that he is "in truth a most wonderful and exalted insect". The unusual narrator allows the story to be written from the viewpoint of a character who neither participates in nor necessarily approves of the sex scenes, and the movement of the narrator between the bodies of the different characters allows the action to follow different characters at different times. Despite ostensibly being written from the first person the novel includes descriptions of the feelings and intentions of various characters which seem more fitting with a third person limited omniscient narrator. Bella: The main character of the book, Bella, is an orphan who lives with her uncle and aunt. At the beginning of the story she is 14 and is described as being the admired one of all eyes and the desired one of all hearts - at any rate among the male sex. She begins the book sexually naive, but inquisitive. Charlie: Very little description is given of Charlie, and after a brief mention in Chapter 3 he ceases to play any part in the story. Father Ambrose: A priest aged 45, described as having a handsome face, with jet black eyes and as being short and stout. The narrator says Ambrose's mind is dedicated to the pursuit of lust, and much of the novel's plot is due to his machinations. After initiating Bella into the ways of unrestrained sensuality, and planning to keep her for himself, he is discovered by the Brother Superior and Brother Clement who insist he share Bella with them. Many scenes of multiple acts of all varieties ensue. Ultimately, Ambrose decides to expand the circle of debauchery by insisting Belle involve her friend the fair, innocent Julia Delmont. Father Clement: Father Clement is one of the "brothers" of Father Ambrose and is a participant and co conspirator in the seduction of Bella. He is described as ugly and possessed of an absolutely gargantuan penis. A memorable scene occurs when Clement mistakes the bedroom he believes is occupied by Bella, and throws himself on Bella's puritanical and rigid aunt. After initially believing the advances are those of her husband, with whom she has not been intimate in many years, she feels Clement's enormous size, and leaps up. Clement forces her down, and after initial resistance, she succumbs. They are discovered and Clement escapes out the window. Bella's aunt goes progressively insane screaming for the "priest with the big tool". Plot The plot begins with Bella in church. As she leaves, Charlie pushes a note into her hand. She reads that it says he will be in their old meeting place at eight o' clock. She meets him in a garden. After some playful conversation, Charlie introduces her to her first sexual experience. Father Ambrose, who had been hiding in the shrubs, surprises them afterward, scolding both of them for their behaviour and threatening to reveal what they have been doing to their guardians. Bella pleads for mercy. Father Ambrose, appearing to relent, tells Bella to meet him in the sacristy at two o'clock the next day and Charlie to meet him at the same time the day after that. Ambrose instructs Bella into a way she may be absolved of her sins and blackmails her into sex with him, lest he tell her guardian what she was up to. Then Ambrose's colleagues, the Fr Superior & Fr Clement, catch them in the act, and they demand equal rights to Bella's favours. And so Bella is introduced to serving the Holy community in a special way. Despite his promises, Ambrose goes to see Bella's uncle, Monsieur Verbouc and tells of her lewd behaviour. This leads to her uncle, who has long entertained lustful thoughts of his niece, attempting to force himself on Bella. The narrator then intervenes, biting him to put a damper on his ardour. Next, Father Clement, looking for Bella's room, climbs into the window of Bella's aunt, the pious Madame Verbouc, who had mistaken him for her husband. M. Verbouc then bursts in and his wife realises she's actually been making love to the randy priest. Bella's friend, Julia Delmont, becomes Ambrose's next target. By now completely corrupted and happy to go along with whatever Ambrose suggests, Bella readily agrees to the Father's next scheme: She will offer herself to Monsieur Delmont, on condition that her face is covered. The trick is that it will not be Bella who lies there, but Delmont's own daughter. Father Ambrose seduces her and says he will come to her by night and make love to her, but she must hide her face. Charming depiction of a drawing room gangbang from the book When the act is consummated, Bella appears and pretends that it was all a big mistake. But since Delmont has now potentially impregnated his daughter, the only way to be sure his incest cannot be discovered is to have all make love to her as well. In case she is pregnant, nobody can claim that her own father is the father. Bella and Julia eventually become nuns, and the book ends as they participate in an orgy with 19 priests.
  • 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.
  • The Poetical Works of Thomas Moore, Thomas Moore (Oliver S. Felt, New York, nd. [c.1860]) 9.5" X 6.5", 776pp., 8 volumes in one. Full leather binding, tooled leather, gilt lettering and decorations, 5 raised bands on spine, marbled end papers, gilt edges. Beautiful steel engravings throughout with tissue guards. Thomas Moore (1779 _ 1852) is considered Ireland's "National Bard". He was a poet, singer, songwriter, and entertainer. He was responsible, with John Murray, for burning Lord Byron's memoirs after his death.
  • The Satyricon of Petronius, Gaius Petronius [stated "Translated by Sebastian Melmoth (Oscar Wilde)" although some believe it was Alfred R. Allinson] (Charles Carrington, Paris, 1902 [#1/515]) 8" X 6", 421pp+1 ads, full red morroco with five raised bands and gilt title on spine, gilt monogram "TKD" on front board, marbled end-papers and paste-downs with gilt decorations on leather around edge, top edge gilt, others deckled, title page in black and red, red printed inset text throughout. Fine example of a VERY rare book. A classic work of translated Latin fiction, consisting of prose and poetry, believed to have been written by Gaius Petronius. The text details the relationship of the narrator, Encolpius and his handsome sixteen year old male lover, who is continually enticed away by others. There is some doubt whether Wilde actually undertook this translation despite the printed slip on the title page. Some consider this to be the first unexpurgated translation of the Satyricon into the English language.