Manual of Classical Erotology (De figuris Veneris) by Fred. Chas. Forberg (Grove Press, Inc., New York, 1966, first edition thus, first printing)
4.75″x6.25″, 2 vol. in one, xvii+261pp, 250pp, hardbound decorated purple cloth boards, buckram spin with gilt lettering, protected dustjacket. fine condition, Latin and English text on facing pages.
De figuris Veneris (On the figures of Venus) was an anthology of ancient Greek and ancient Roman writings on erotic topics, discussed objectively and classified and grouped by subject matter. It was first published by the German classicist Friedrich Karl Forberg in 1824 in Latin and Greek as a commentary to Antonio Beccadelli’s (1394-1471) Hermaphroditus (commonly referred to as Antonii Panormitae Hermaphroditus), an erotic poem sequence of 1425 in renaissance Latin, though it was later also published as a separate work.
In 1899 Forberg’s work was translated into English and published by Charles Carrington as De figuris Veneris, Manual of classical erotology, and again in 1907 by Charles Hirsch, and into French, German and Spanish. The French edition by Alcide Bonneau was titled Manuel d’érotologie classique. One French edition of 1906 was illustrated by Édouard-Henri Avril, which concludes with a list of 95 sexual positions. Most of the editions were restricted to high society or censored; one of the copies edited in France was immediately deposited on the secret shelves of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
This copy was printed by Grove Press, well known for their reprints of classic erotic texts. States “Facsimile edition, reproducing … the original English edition of 1844 [actually 1884] which was privately printed and limited to one hundred copies.”