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.