The Dialogues of Luisa Sigea, Nicolas Chorier, translation by Isadore Liseux (Isadore Liseux, Paris, 1890, first edition, first English translation, printed by Ch. Unsinger)
8.75″ X 5.75″, 3 books bound in one, xx+87pp, 132pp, 98+2pp, 3/4 crimson morocco over red boards, 5 raised bands, gilt decorations and titles on spine, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, others deckled. Excellent condition for age, very minor bumping on corners and top and bottom of spine.
In six dialogues (I. The skirmish; II. Tribadicon; III. Fabric; IV. The duel; V. Pleasures; VI. Frolics and sports) Tullia, who is 26, initiates her 15 year old cousin, Ottavia, in the art of sexual pleasure. The first four dialogues, which are fairly short, focus on tribadism and defloration. The longer fifth and six dialogues introduce flagellation, contractual submission, group sex, and anal sex.
Like many sexual fictions, The Dialogues of Luisa Sigea (originally written in latin “Aloisiae Sigeae Satyra Sotadica de arcanis Amoris et Veneris”) attempts to conceal the identity of its author: it purports to be based on a Latin manuscript translation of a work written originally in Spanish in the sixteenth century by an erudite young woman, Luisa Sigea of Toledo and translated into latin by Jean Meursius of Holland. In fact, it was written c. 1660, in latin, by a Frenchman, Nicolas Chorier (1612-1692), a lawyer who wrote works on various historical and philosophical subjects. The first first French translation, L’Academie des dames, was issued in the 1680.
This 1890 edition was for the first time translated into English by Isidore Liseux and issued as a 3 volume set. (1. I-IV, 2. V, 3. VI).
Isidore Liseux (1835-1894) was a French bibliophile and publisher of erotica and curiosa. His publications were mostly rare texts of 16th to 18th century authors, hard to find and little known books which were usually translated and annotated by his friend and associate Alcide Bonneau or by Liseux himself. Liseux and Bonneau, both ex-priests, knew each other since seminary. His books were published in small numbers, on high quality paper, and with excellent typography. His usual printers were Claude Motteroz, Antoine Bécus, and later Charles Unsinger. Liseux’s books were published openly as the climate was more permissive in Paris at the time. His books were so well regarded that pirates of his books and even unrelated books bearing his imprint with a false date were published clandestinely into the 20th century. French poet, Guillaume Apollinaire wrote: “The publications of Liseux are more and more sought after because they are correct, beautiful and rare.” (Le flaneur des deux rives, 1918).