Sextravaganza, by M. de Crebillon le Fils, With and Introduction by Escar Levine, Illustrator unknown (Privately Printed [The Robin Hood House], New York 1932, one of 1111)
6.25″x9.5″, 192pp, decorated boards, vellum spine with silver lettering, some spots and bumps but generally a good copy of this edition.
Originally titled La Nuit et le moment ou les matines de Cythère [The night and the moment, or the mornings of Cythere], this is Robin Hood House’s famous US “private” publication from the 30’s and for a long time the only english translation available in the states. Written as a dialog, in the course of one night a man and a woman, each of whom is in love with somebody else, gradually warm up to each other until they forget past pleasures in present passions . Satire, irony, word-play and scandal abound. This edition states “only eleven hundred eleven copies have been issued for collectors of curiosa & sexualia”.
Claude Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon (1707-1777) was a French novelist. He was called “Crébillon fils” to distinguish him from his father, a famous tragedian, Prosper Jolyot de Crébillon. The publication of Tanzaï et Neadarne, histoire japonaise (1734), which contained thinly veiled attacks on the Papal bull Unigenitus, the cardinal de Rohan and others, landed him briefly in the prison at Vincennes. Publication of Le Sopha, conte moral, an erotic political satire, in 1742 forced him into exile from Paris for several months.