[FALQUES or FAUQUES, Marianne-Agnès de]. Abbassaï, Histoire Orientale. De l’Imprimerie de Bagdad. Et se trouve à Paris, Chez Bauche, 1753.
Very scarce first edition of this tragic oriental tale set at the court of Haroun al Rashid by Marianne-Agnès de Falques, a fascinating literary figure of the Enlightenment.
Forced by her family to become a nun and defrocked after 10 years in a convent, Marianne-Agnès Falques was duly registered as such by the authorities serving the regime of Louis XV. Her excesses gained her a notorious reputation at the time. Forced into exile, she became tutor to the children of affluent English families. Her English sojourn was marked by the publication of the Histoire de Madame de Pompadour of 1759, a scandalous text well known by Voltaire, and testimony to her audacity and independence of spirit.
GEILER VON KAYSERSBERG, Johannes. Das irrig Schaf. Sagt von kleinmütigkeit und verzweiflung. Gebredigt und gedeütscht durch den würdigen und hochgeboren doctoren Johannem Geiler von Keiserssberg mit sampt den nachvolgenden tractaten. Strasburg, Matthias Schürer, .
First edition of these seven tracts by the famous writer and preacher, here in a contemporary binding and with a near contemporary inscription from the Capuchin monastery at Heidelberg, a collection of tracts that includes Der Eschen Grüdel, a precursor of Cinderella, and containing one of the earliest illustrations of that character.
[GOETHE]. GÖCHHAUSEN, Ernst August Anton von. Das Werther-Fieber, ein unvollendetes Familienstück. Nieder-Teutschland [i.e. Leipzig, Weidmann], 1776.
First edition of Göchhausen’s Werther Fever, one of the rarest of all Werther-inspired publications and at first misjudged by Goethe himself as a satire on his work.
‘In 1776, Göchhausen’s essay Das Werther-Fieber, ein unvollendetes Familienstück helped coin the term ‘Werther Fever’ which would become popular in discussions of Goethe’s novel. He assessed suicide from the point of view of Christian deontology. For Göchhausen, Werther was victim of Enlightenment views of religion, as propagated in Nicolai’s Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek. Even before 1789, Göchhausen had become one of the most avid critics of Enlightenment philosophy and its practical ramifications’ (Heiner F. Klemme, Manfred Kuehn, editors, The Bloomsbury Dictionary of Eighteenth-Century German Philosophers p. 269).
GOMEZ DE LUQUE, Gonzalo. Libro Primero delos famosos hechos del principe Celidon de Iberia. Compuesto en Estancias … Alcalá de Henares, Juan Iñiguez de Lequerica, 1583.
Extremely rare first and only edition of Gomez de Luque’s chivalric romance, highly praised by Cervantes in the Canto de Calliope, his laudatory poem about the accomplishments of the poets of Spain.
Little is known with any certainty about Gómez de Luque. Styling himself a ‘natural de la ciudad de Cordoba’ on the title, there is no documentation to confirm this; his date of birth and death remain unknown. His literary activity is confined to the period of 1580 to 1590, with a number of stanzas and sonnets published in collaboration with Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Pedro de Padilla, Pedro Lainez, and López Maldonado among others, and with which circle he appears to have maintained a close relationship (see the article ‘Poetas Luqueños’ by Antonio Cruz Casado, online, where the author furthermore suggests a probable influence of Gomez on the development of Cervantes’ literary work).
[MOORE, George] L’Abbaye de Grasville: traduction de l’anglois par B. Ducos. Paris, Maradan, an VI .
Very rare first French edition of Moore’s Grasville Abbey; a Romance, a gothic novel ‘du pemier crû’ (Oberlé), anonymously published and initially thought to be written by Ann Radcliffe.
[MURAT, Henriette Julie de Castelnau, Comtesse de]. La fée Anguillette. Troyes, chez la citoyenne Garnier, [c. 1795].
A rare, late 18th-century, popular printing of Murat de Castelnau’s fairy tale.
‘At the age of 16 Murat was sent to court in Paris to marry the Comte de Murat and soon became known as a woman of little virtue … In 1694 Murat published her first work, Histoire de la courtisane Rhodope, which was considered a libel against the court and resulted in her exile from the capital in that same year to the provincial city of Loches, a sentence which was not revoked until the death of Louis XIV in 1715.
‘Murat often combined traditional French fairy lore with Graeco‐Roman mythology … In many of her tales Murat grappled with the question of love, which she treated from different perspectives. In ‘Anguillette’… the princess Plousine is kind to a fairy who, in the tradition of Mélusine, is transformed into an eel for a few days each month. Plousine is rewarded with both beauty and wit, but learns that fairies are powerless in matters of love. She is caught between her passionate love for Atimir and her more tempered love for the Prince of the Peaceful Island; passion overrides temperance, and the tale ends tragically …’ (Jack Zipes, editor, The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales).
PROSCH, Peter. Leben und Ereignisse des Peter Prosch, eines Tyrolers von Ried im Zillerthal, oder das wunderbare Schicksal. Geschrieben in den Zeiten der Aufklärung. Munich, Anton Franz, 1789.
First edition of Prosch’s highly amusing autobiography, a very rare piece of folk literature and unique in its kind.
Born to a poor peasant’s family in Ried in Tyrol in 1744 and soon orphaned Prosch is forced to fend for himself from an early age, largely surviving by begging and running errands for those who want his service, which eventually and fortuitously include members of the aristocracy.
He soon becomes famous as the ‘Hoftyroler’, a kind of jester at the princes’ courts, whilst frequently involuntarily so, and is invited to the courts at Vienna, Munich, Ansbach, Würzburg, Bamberg, Cologne, Prague, and Salzburg. Sponsored and recommended by the margrave of Ansbach, he even visits Versailles in 1786, where he is well received by the Empress’ daughter, Marie Antoinette.
Brief and factual, the highly captivating story is of much interest regarding the customs and manners of the time, especially at the German courts, and a fine memorial of folk literature. The note on the title ‘Written in the Age of Enlightenment’ is of interest, as Prosch’s self-critical concluding poem also takes on the aristocracy.
SA‘DI, Abu ‘Abd Allah Musharrif al-Din (Adam OLEARIUS, translator). Persianischer Rosenthal. In welchen viel lustige Historien scharffsinige Reden und nützliche Regeln. Vor 400. Jahren von einem Sinnreichen Poeten Schich Saadi in Persischer Sprach beschrieben. Schleswig, Johann Holwein for Johann Nauman in Hamburg, 1654.
Rare first edition of Olearius’s translation of Sa‘di’s Gulistānor ‘Rose-garden’ and, unlike the previous editions, richly and engagingly illustrated.