BOUCHET, Jean

RARE AND BEAUTIFULLY PRINTED EDITION

Les triu[m]phes de la noble et amoureuse Dame et l’art de honnestement aymer.

Paris, en la gallerie pro ou on va a la chancellerie par Jehan Longis, 1537.

£4,950

8vo. ff. [xii], cccxc. Lettre Bâtarde. Woodcut initials in various sizes, engraved armorial bookplate of the Baron de Bellet on pastedown, that of Dr. Andre Van Bastelaer beneath, note in French recording purchase of the vol. in the Beckford-Hamilton sale, lot 78, 1883 -250”, on pastedown. Light age yellowing, t-p slightly dusty, tips of outer corners expertly repaired. A very good copy, crisp and clean and wide-margined, (some lower margins uncut) finely bound by Churton in early C19th diced russia, covers with border of double gilt rules, corners with small gilt fleurons, spine with raised bands finely gilt ruled in compartments, gilt fleuron at center, title and date gilt lettered in Batarde, inner dentelles and edges gilt, a.e.g., spine a little faded.

Rare and beautifully printed edition of the most successful work of the ‘Rhetoriqueur’ poet Jean Bouchet, first published in 1530, a mystical romance in prose and verse on divine love, in which the ‘amoureuse dame’ represents the human soul. Bouchet, 1476-c.1550 was a prolific author of great intelligence and imagination. He acquired fame at the court of Louis XII and Anne of Brittany, had a successful career as a lawyer, was tutor to the Prince de Talmont and became centre of the literary circle in his native Poitiers. He was one of the few poets of his era to live off his writing, without patronage, and thus had great control over the printing of his own works. “In this respect, despite his relative conservatism as a poet, Bouchet anticipates the more apparently personal and less overtly formalist poetics of the mid and late sixteenth century.” Adrian Armstrong ‘Script, Print, and Poetics in France, 1470-1550’. Among his friends was François Rabelais who addressed to Bouchet his first verses in French.

This Parisian edition seems to have been shared by Jean Longis and Jean Macé. “Brunet mentions that ‘ces triomphes sont un ouvrage mystique, en vers et en prose, où il s’agit de l’amour de Dieu: L’amoureuse dame est notre âme. On le voit donc, il n’y a là rien de bien érotique’. However, he omits to state that much of the matter is of more human interest than may be at first supposed. There are chapters on matrimonial conduct, the bringing up of children, (“Comment mary et femme doivent converser en leur lict de mariage; instruction pour les femmes grosses; comment les meres doyuent nourrir leurs enfans en enfance” etc), choice of foods, anatomy of the human body etc.” Fairfax Murray I 60, the 1541 edition. “In this guide for proper moral and social conduct are found many advices addressed to women. The work also contains dietetic advice for a healthy life and an extensive chapter on anatomy, in which are also described the reproductive organs”. Erdman, My Gracious Silence 57 (later edition).

William Thomas Beckford (1760–1844) was an extraordinarily wealthy English novelist, art critic, travel writer and politician, now chiefly remembered as the author of the Gothic novel Vathek and builder of the remarkable Fonthill Abbey, the enormous gothic revival country house, largely destroyed. Beckford’s fame rests as much upon his eccentric extravagances as a builder and collector as upon his literary efforts. The opportunity to purchase the complete library of Edward Gibbon gave Beckford the basis for his own library, which was extensive, and dispersed over two years in 1883-4.

BM STC Fr. C16th p. (Macé edition). IA. 122.891. Brunet (Macé edition). Erdman, My Gracious Silence 57 (later edn.). Fairfax Murray I 60, the 1541 edition.

L1551

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MANFREDI, Muzio

CANTOS IN DEDICATION TO WOMEN OF THE ITALIAN ARISTOCRACY

Madrigali di Mutio Manfredi il Fermo Academico Olimpico &c. Sopra molti soggetti strauaganti composti, ne men di tre, ne piu di cinquanta sono per ciascun soggetto

Venice, Roberto Meglietti, 1606.

£1,350

FIRST EDITION.12mo. pp. (x) 374. A-Q12. Italic letter. Title within fine engraved architectural border incorporating the printer’s device below, of two cockerels eating corn, the arms of the dedicatee Luigi Capponi above, putti at sides with the figures of Justice and Beauty above, woodcut initials and headpieces, typographical and woodcut ornaments. Some very light age yellowing in places. A very good copy, crisp and clean, in earlier limp vellum from an antiphonal leaf.

First edition of these madrigals by Manfredo Muzio, dedicated to the Cardinal Luigi Capponi, most of which are addressed to women. Manfredi, a poet and dramatist from Cesena, was a member of the noble Manfredi family of Faenza. He was employed at the French court in Nancy as secretary to the Duchess of Brunswick, where he wrote much of his most famous work. He was extremely well connected in Italian literary circles, Diomede Borghesi in one of his letters refers to having met with Tasso and describes him as “da costumi preclarissimi, e da bellisima letteratura.”

He is best remembered now for his plays however he wrote a considerable amount of poetry, nearly all of which was addressed to, and in praise of, female contemporaries. “Perhaps the supreme exponent in this period of the role of “celebrant of women” was the poet and courtier Muzio Manfredi of Fermo (1535 – 1607), a ubiquitous figure in the academic culture of the time, though now best remembered as a dramatist. (Semiramis [1593]). … In his long career, Manfredi published numerous volumes of poetry, mainly madrigals, almost all devoted to the praise of women. One of his first works published, the anthology ‘Per donne romane,’ of 1575, is prefaced by an open letter “to the ladies” (Alle donne) in which Manfredi speaks of himself as having “placed all my efforts and study in that manner of letters I thought pleasing to you and most fitted to exalt your fame: that is the excellency of poetry, a truly divine art and one appropriate to your divinity.”

This devotion is manifested in four further volumes, ‘Cento donne cantate’ (1580), ‘Cento madrigali’ (1587), Cento sonetti … in lode delle donne di Ravenna (1602), and ‘Madrigali … sopra molti soggetti stravaganti composti’ (1606), the first three entirely devoted to women, the last including a handful of poems to men. … Compositely, these volumes portray Manfredi as engaged in an admiring and flirtatious dialogue not only with the cream of Italian aristocratic womanhood but also with ‘donne virtuose,’ as he refers to them in ‘Il contrasto amoroso’.” Virginia Cox, ‘Women’s writing in Italy, 1400-1650.’

Many of the poems addressed to women in this collection are prefaced by a short note describing their relationship, or an event from her life and many of them are addressed to prominent women writers, actors and singers. An excellent copy of this rare first edition.

BM STC It. C17th p. 527. Not in Gamba. See Axel Erdmann “My Gracious Silence” 16 for a description of another of his collection of Madrigals dedicated to women.

L1267

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PLATT, Sir Hugh

VERY CHARMING, RARE BOOK OF RECIPES

Delightes for ladies, to adorne their persons, tables, closets, and distillatories;

London, Printed by H. L[ownes] and R. Y[oung] and are to bee sold by Iames Boler, 1628

£4,950

12mo. 96 unnumbered leaves. A-H12, (last blank but for border). Roman letter, titles in Italic. Text within decorative four part woodcut borders, typographical ornaments. Light age yellowing, borders on outer margin very fractionally trimmed on a few leaves. A good copy, unusually crisp and clean, in antique-style red morocco, covers bordered with single gilt rule, spine with gilt raised bands, vase tools gilt at centers, green morocco label gilt, combed marble end-papers, all edges gilt.

A very good copy of this very charming, exceptionally rare and important book of recipes of sweets, candies, preserves, (sweet and savory), alcoholic beverages, perfumes, cosmetics and personal decoration, a most successful book in its day; some of the recipes have survived to be in relatively common use 400 years later, in particular the various mixed alcoholic beverages. “Sir Hugh Platt wrote perhaps the most charming and well-written sweets recipe book of all, dedicated to the ladies of leisure who were his target readership. The art of preserving and candying fruit had by this time become a ladylike diversion as well as a professional business — due to the high price of imported sugar, sweets were still an expensive luxury enjoyed only by a few. Among Sir Hugh’s recipes is a way of candying rose petals on the bush by pouring syrup over them and letting them dry in the sun. His dedicatory poem,… is a useful inventory of sweets in favour in the 16th and early 17th century, including sucket (candied lemon and orange peel) and marchpanes: a type of hard marzipan modelled into diverse shapes for the table, and not always edible.” British library.

‘Delightes for Ladies’ was one of several works which Plat published in the genre of how-to books, or books of secrets. It was one of the earliest, if not the first, cookery and household recipe book. Plat divides the work into three parts “the arte of preseruing”, “secrets in distillation” and “cookerie and huswiferie”. His interest in the subject was in part derived from his interest in preserving food for the navy and dwells at some length on keeping meat in brine at sea and includes a recipe for keeping orange & lemon juice for a year. The second section on Distillation starts with a recipe called “How to make true spirit of wine.”. Most of the rest of the recipes in this section, though, are how to make things like rose-water, or how to distill thyme lavender and rosemary for perfumes or ‘waters’. The book also is partly derived from the tradition of ‘Books of Secrets’ and contains recipes such as “to take away the freckles in the face: Wash your face in the wane of the moone with a spunge, morninge and euening with the distilled water of Elder Leaues, letting the same drie into the skinne. Your water must be distilled in Maie. This is of a Trauailer, who hath cured himself therby.”. Read and used to pieces this work has survived in very few copies and is very rare.“The reader is left in no sort of doubt about what went on in the Elizabethan kitchen, and few could put the book down without some regret for the passing of those most leisurely days. … It is not surprising that some of these have survived in single copies only, and some have probably disappeared altogether … Most surviving copies are pretty grubby and often incomplete.” Bent Juel-Jensen, ‘Some Uncollected Authors XIX, The Book Collector”.

STC 19983.7 (Recording only 3 other copies B.L., Lincoln Cathedral and Folger). Bitting 373. Vicaire under ‘Closet’ 183. “One of the early practical guides to include beauty hints and cosmetic recipes” Hull, ‘Chaste, Silent and Obedient.’ pp. 43, 194. Ferguson V p. 43. Cagle 930. Not in Oberle.

L1414

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DE BILLON, François

A PASSIONATE PANEGYRIC ON THE MERITS OF WOMEN


Le Fort inexpugnable de l’honneur du sexe femenin.

Paris, Ian d’Allyer, 1 April 1555.

£9,500

FIRST EDITION. 4to., pp. 257, (vi). Woodcut portrait of the author within architectonic cartouche (repeated), full-page allegorical woodcut of a fort (resembling the Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome) with female figures and soldiers beneath the Virgin and Child supported on a crescent (repeated for 6 chapter openings), chapter openings within woodcut borders of artillery with two cannon being fired by a matron, flaming cannonballs and barrels of gunpowder, full-page woodcut of Athena addressing an all-female audience (repeated for 3 chapter openings), woodcut head and tail pieces, several woodcut marginal pointers in the shape of cannon, woodcut initials. Very skilful small repairs to upper blank margins of two leaves, a little light age-yellowing, a very good copy in crushed purple morocco gilt by Thibaron Joly, spine gilt in six compartments, a.e.g, gilt dentelles (small dampstain to lower corner of upper cover). Stamp c.1800 of the Bibliotheque du Grand Juge de la Republique Francaise in blank lower corner of title.

FIRST EDITION of the “most enthusiastic and passionate panegyric [on the rights and merits of women] to have been written between 1450 and 1550” (Albistur & Armogathe, Histoire du feminisme du Moyen-Age à nos jours), Billon’s strenuous early defence of the equality of the ‘second sex’. Another edition was apparently published with the same date and different title but without giving the printer’s name, either a shared or pirated issue. Little is known about his life, but Billon was born in Paris, the nephew of Artus Billon, Bishop of Senlis. He was an author ‘in the Italian style’, and accompanied Cardinal Bellay to Rome as his secretary in the mid-1550s, where he wrote the present treatise, dedicated to Catherine de Medici. Billon died around 1566, and was one of the principal theorists of feminism in the 16th century, and the work forms part of the literary canon of the ‘Women’s Quarrel’ (‘La Querelle des Femmes’), which was a Europe-wide literary battle that raged for over 300 years between various authors attacking, and defending women (hence the martial imagery), reflecting the sometimes serious and sometimes jocular nature of scholarly argument from 1500-1800; these texts were often reliant on theological sources. The work appeared again in 1564, with a slightly different title.

Built up as an ‘impregnable fort’ of separate ‘bastions’ (chapters), the work is a robust defence of the role of women, peppered with allegorical references, but arguing strenuously for improvements in female education, encouraging women to abandon home and convent for traditionally male-dominated professions, including politics and the military. Billon also advocates the dissolution of arranged marriages and the ending of a woman’s legal subjugation to her husband. He notes that in Europe, where he says women are held in the greatest subjugation, men are also more subjugated, and argues for the qualities (such as honesty, magnanimity, piety and devotion) and achievements (arguing, i.a., that women make better singers: the ‘angelic sweetness’ of the female voice) of women throughout the ages, even disputing with the Bible. The book also includes the first appearance of the word ‘atheism’ (in the context of a people’s lack of belief) and contains probably the first bio-bibliography of female writers and inventors.

BM STC Fr. p. 69; Adams B-2047; IA. 119.358 (six locations); Gay II, p. 342; Brunet I, 945; Graesse I, p. 426; Cioranesco 4010; not in Mortimer or Erdmann.

L646

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LIEBAULT, Jean

GYNAECOLOGY FOR YOUNG WOMEN, FIRST FRENCH EDITION


Trois livres de la santé, foecundité et maladies des femmes.

Paris, Jacques du Puys, 1582.

£3,750

FIRST EDITION thus. 8vo. pp. (xvi) 923 (i) (xvi). Roman letter, some Italic. Woodcut printer’s device to title page, depicting Christ with the Samaritan woman at the well, fine woodcut initials and head-pieces. One or two later manuscript marginal notes. Very light water staining, mostly marginal, to first few leaves and index. Small worm hole to title page, not affecting text. A very good, clean copy in contemporary vellum, a little soiled, fore-edges chewed, lacking ties, in modern box.

First French edition (translated from the Latin De sanitate, faecunditatae et morbis mulierum of the same year) of this gynaecological handbook by Jean Liébault (c.1535-1596), doctor and agronomist. It was one of the very first vernacular works, designed for the laywoman, about the female physical condition. Liébault was born in Dijon but moved to Paris to study medicine, where he became a successful doctor, highly esteemed by both colleagues and patients. He married Nicole Estienne, daughter of the great Parisian printer Charles Estienne (1504-1564), who had himself studied medicine under Jacob Sylvius alongside the young Vesalius. Liébault completed and translated his father-in-law’s Praedium rusticum into French as La maison rustique (1564); a translation of Gesner’s Quatres livres des secrets de médecine followed in 1573.

Trois livres de la santé was the first of two works on feminine health and beauty he published in 1582. De l’ornement & beautez des Femmes is advertised in the present work. Madame Liébault, a noted femme des lettres, was herself the author of Misères de la femme mariée, mises en forme de stances, and the manuscript Apologie pour les femmes, contre ceux qui en médisent. She predeceased her husband by some years; the contemporary diarist Pierre de L’Estoile records that Liébault died suddenly, after sitting down to rest on a stone in the rue Gervais-Laurent.

Liébault’s introduction to the present work laments the infinite number of maladies which accompany any person through his or her life, ‘mais plus griefues en affliction tormentent le corps de la femme comme celuy de l’homme.’ Woman, he takes care to emphasise, ‘n’est animant mutile ny imparfaict, mais foible & maladif.’ His work describes and suggests causes and remedies – often more than one – for a range of gynaecological complaints, in chronological order from childhood to motherhood; Liébault does not advise on the maladies of women beyond child-bearing age. Young girls, he notes, may be subject to nervous illnesses, nausea, headache and neuralgia. He deals with menstruation, venereal disease and various renal and gastro-intestinal problems, before proceeding to the subject of conception and childbirth, which occupies the greatest portion of the book.

Obesity, male and female, is listed among the causes of infertility; common birth defects are described, along with less common ones such as hermaphroditism. Alongside a discussion of family resemblance in young children (with a gentle reminder that even animals and plants have an urge to reproduce in their own image), Liébault also addresses the question of when a child receives his or her soul. Of particular interest is the chapter devoted to the performance of caesarean section, which, given the high mortality rate, is advised only as a last resort. The first modern caesarean section which the mother is known to have survived had been performed as recently as 1500. Liébault concludes with advice on the treatment of the newborn and the new mother. The work contains a detailed table of contents and index, and a brief list of errata.

BM STC Fr. 266; Brunet III, 1074; Wellcome I, 3800; Durling 2959 (attributed to Giovanni Marinelli); not in Adams, Heirs of Hippocrates, Osler, Garrison and Morton or Erdman.

L603

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MARCONVILLE, Jean de

MARRIAGE IN BALANCE

De l’Heur et malheur de mariage, ensemble les loix connubiales de Plutarque, traduictes en françois, par Jehan de Marconville

Paris, Jean Dallier, 1571.

£1,950

8vo. ff. (viii) 83 (i). Roman letter, italic side notes. Woodcut publisher’s device on title page, floriated woodcut initials and head-pieces, book plate of Charles V. D. Elst on pastedown. Light age yellowing. A very good copy in C19 French crushed red morocco ‘Jansenist,’ signed Hardy-Menil, spine with raised bands, gilt title, edges with double gilt rule, inner dentelles richly gilt, all edges gilt, joints slightly crushed at head.

Rare second edition of this curious work on the pros and cons of marriage, first published in Paris in 1564, concurrently with another work examining the good and evil of women. Both are mentioned in the privilege given to Jean Dallier at the end of this book and were probably complementary. Marconville published many works which presented arguments, for and against, in a tradition derived from Erasmus, and prefiguring Montaigne’s Essais. The present work addresses such things as adultery, marriage ceremonies both Christian and pagan, degrees of consanguinity, how to punish a wife, jealousy, and the unhappiness caused by being married to a “Mauvais Femme.”

“Some French Catholics who began cautiously endorsing marriage were Jean Bouchet, Jean de Marconville, and Francois de Billon. Jean de Marconville was a Catholic who sought the unity of the Church, but objected to the use of force against the Protestants. He addressed the issue of marriage in his ‘De l’Heur et malheur de mariage,’ published in 1564. The stated premise was that men and women were meant to be married. He advocated marriage as security ‘against the disordered affections of the flesh and against the vices of incontinence and sensuality.’” Yvonne Petry. ‘Gender, Kabbalah, and the Reformation.’

This was taken in part and reworked from a French translation of Mexia’s ‘Diverses Lecons’ by Claude Gruget. “Marconville conceals Mexia as a source, juggles the order of Mexia’s three linked chapters on marriage, and leaves his reader with a false impression of his source material. Marconville borrowed and compiled from Mexia’s ‘Diverses Lecons,’ but, more importantly, he changed the meaning and context of the examples. Marconville transformed Mexia’s writings on variety and diversity into an argument for monogamous Christian marriage. … Marconville’s work … echoes Mexia and copies his phrases, but alters them slightly to emphasise the more formal requirements of the public ceremonies required for a legitimate marriage. For Mexia, the consent alone (seul consentment) of the couple suffices, helped along by ceremonies. For Marconville, a more public (solonnel) arrangement is required to demonstrate this consent that he emphasises as ‘mutual.’ Lyndan Warner. ‘The Ideas of Man and Woman in Renaissance France: Print, Rhetoric, and Law.’

Very little is known of Marconville’s life. A country gentleman born about 1540, he was a fairly prolific writer in the popular philosophical vein, and a friend of a number of better known literary contemporaries such as Thevet and Belleforest. Hofer (NBG) describes his works on women as “recherchés pour leur singularité.”

This Edition not in BM STC Fr. Adams M-551. Brunet III 1408. “Traités assez recherchés”. Cioranescu 14017 (1st ed.). Gay II 470. “Livre rare et tres curieux.” Not in Tchermerzine or Hull ‘Chaste, silent & obedient’.

L1752

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PLATT, Sir Hugh

Delightes for Ladies, to adorne their Persons, Tables, Closets and Distillatories. With Beauties, Banquets, Perfumes and Waters…

London, Printed by H[umphrey] L[ownes] and are to be sould by Arthur Iohnson, 1615.

£7,500

12mo. 96 unnumbered leaves. A-H12. (last blank but for border). Roman letter, titles in Italic. Title with small woodcut decorations, text within decorative four part woodcut borders, typographical ornaments, Bradford library stamp to outer margin of title and 4 other leaves. Light age yellowing, blank upper outer corner of A8 repaired, small sections of lower outer corners of B5, C6 and G4 torn with slight loss of border, a few leaves cut close, just touching borders. A very good copy in contemporary calf, covers bordered with a triple blind rule, spine with raised bands, sympathetically rebacked, all edges gilt and gauffered.

A very good copy of this very charming, exceptionally rare and important book of recipes of sweets, candies, preserves, alcoholic beverages, perfumes, cosmetics and personal decoration, a most successful book in its day; some of the recipes have survived to be in relatively common use 400 years later, in particular the various mixed alcoholic beverages. “Sir Hugh Platt wrote perhaps the most charming and well-written sweets recipe book of all, dedicated to the ladies of leisure who were his target readership. The art of preserving and candying fruit had by this time become a ladylike diversion as well as a professional business — due to the high price of imported sugar, sweets were still an expensive luxury enjoyed only by a few. Among Sir Hugh’s recipes is a way of candying rose petals on the bush by pouring syrup over them and letting them dry in the sun. His dedicatory poem,… is a useful inventory of sweets in favour in the 16th and early 17th century, including sucket (candied lemon and orange peel) and marchpanes: a type of hard marzipan modelled into diverse shapes for the table, and not always edible.” British library.

‘Delightes for Ladies’ was one of several works which Plat published in the genre of how-to books, or books of secrets. It was one of the earliest, if not the first, cookery and household recipe book. Plat divides the work into three parts “the arte of preseruing”, “secrets in distillation” and “cookerie and huswiferie”. His interest in the subject was in part derived from his interest in preserving food for the navy and dwells at some length on keeping meat in brine at sea and includes a recipe for keeping orange & lemon juice for a year. The second section on Distillation starts with a recipe called “How to make true spirit of wine.”. Most of the rest of the recipes in this section, though, are how to make things like rose-water, or how to distill thyme lavender and rosemary for perfumes or ‘waters’. The book also is partly derived from the tradition of ‘Books of Secrets’ and contains recipes such as “to take away the freckles in the face: Wash your face in the wane of the moone with a spunge, morninge and euening with the distilled water of Elder Leaues, letting the same drie into the skinne. Your water must be distilled in Maie. This is of a Trauailer, who hath cured himself therby.”. Despite is contemporary popularity this work has survived in very few copies and is very rare; this is the only copy of this edition recorded at auction. “The reader is left in no sort of doubt about what went on in the Elizabethan kitchen, and few could put the book down without some regret for the passing of those most leisurely days. … It is not surprising that some of these have survived in single copies only, and some have probably disappeared altogether … Most surviving copies are pretty grubby and often incomplete.” Bent Juel-Jensen, ‘Some Uncollected Authors XIX, The Book Collector”.

STC 19983 (Recording only 3 other copies B.L., Huntington and Juel-Jensen, imperfect). Bitting 373. Vicaire under ‘Closet’ 183. “One of the early practical guides to include beauty hints and cosmetic recipes” Hull, ‘Chaste, Silent and Obedient.’ pp. 43, 194. Ferguson V p. 43. Not in Oberle.

L1355

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MARINELLI, Giovanni

RARE EDITION OF IMPORTANT TREATISE ON COSMETICS AND HYGIENE

Gli ornamenti delle donne.

Venice, Giouanni Valgrisio, 1574.

£1,650

8vo. ff. (viii) 376 (xxxvi). a⁸, A-3E⁸, 3F3. (lacking last blank). Italic letter. Woodcut printer’s device on title, large floriated woodcut initials, typographical ornaments, early manuscript ex-libris on blank margins of title page, Gino Sabattini’s art deco bookplate signed ‘N. Nugino’ on pastedown. Light age yellowing,title page fractionally dusty, the occasional marginal mark or spoy. A very good copy, crisp and clean, in eighteenth century half calf over speckled paper boards, all edges red. slight loss at head and tail of spine.

Rare second edition of this important treatise on cosmetics and hygiene, a beauty manual (one of the few from Renaissance Italy to survive) by the celebrated physician and natural philosopher Giovanni Marinelli, the author of several works on medicine. “Two of his medical books were specifically concerned with women’s well being, and were composed in the vernacular, suggesting that he wanted women themselves to be enlightened about their health. One, Women’s Ornaments (Gli ornamenti delle donne, Venice 1562) is a practical manual of hygiene and beauty, from bleaching hair and whitening teeth to removing bodily odors. It is remarkable for its sane defense of women’s quest for physical attractiveness.” Letizia Panizza.

The work is crammed full of remedies for all sorts of ailments, cosmetic and hygienic, and includes many recipes for perfumes. Particularly revealing is the Venetian noblewoman’s penchant for tinting her hair blond, and Marinelli’s manual contains no less than twenty six recipes for hair dye. “It is a very detailed treatment of personal hygiene, and of the exacting demands of hygienic principles in the care of the human body. The author deals with the many ways to keep the single parts of the body in shape, with methods for removing defects which interfere with the symmetry of the body. There are chapters about hair, its care, remedies for thinning hair and for colouring. Other chapters are devoted to eyes eyebrows, ears, lips, neck, breasts. Recipes for the preparation of essences for baths, perfumes and balms are given, as well as reducing and weight gaining diets” Axel Erdmann.

Giovanni was the father of the noted feminist writer Lucrezia Marinella, author of ‘La nobilta et l’eccellenza delle donne, co’difetti et mancamenti de gli uomini’ (The Nobility and Excellence of Women, and the Defects and Vices of Men). “From his own writings and Marinella’s fond references to him, Giovanni Marinelli emerges as a kind, paternal figure who promoted his daughter’s studies and women’s education in general.” She certainly benefited from a full education, not the case for the vast majority of women of her background.

“His views on women were bold; indeed, they were feminist. Giovanni Marinelli dedicated his Gli ornamenti delle donne to all ‘chaste and young women’, in the device of repaying a debt of gratitude to them for showing such interest in his previous work on Italian grammar. (…) This handbook of advice on women’s health and beauty presents a striking departure from the contemporary tendency to stigmatize women’s concern with their physical appearance as vanity. Making an explicit point of his feminism, however, Marinelli also prefaced his text with a brief defense of women, which rehearsed the prominent features of the ‘querelle des femmes’ and underscored his status as a humanist contributing to this pervasive literary debate.” Sarah Ross ‘The Birth of Feminism’.

BM STC It C16th p. 417. Welcome 4059. Axel Erdmann, ‘My Gracious Silence’, no. 15. Durling 2963. Kelso, pp.387-388, no. 547. Not in Brunet, Graesse or Gamba.

L1404

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ANONYMOUS

UNUSUALLY WELL PRESERVED COPY

Closet for Ladies and Gentlevvomen. Or, The Art of preserving, conserving, and candying.

London, Printed by John Hauiland, 1627.

£4,950

12mo. 96 unnumbered leaves. A-H12. Roman letter, titles in Italic. Title and text within woodcut border, woodcut floriated initials and typographical headpieces. Light age yellowing, quire D lightly browned, woodcut borders at outer margin very fractionally trimmed on a few leaves, title slightly dusty, the odd thumb mark. A good, clean copy, in antique style red morocco, covers bordered with single gilt rule, spine with gilt raised bands, vase tools gilt at centers, green morocco label gilt, combed marble end-papers, all edges gilt.

An unusually well preserved copy of this extremely rare and delightful volume. The first part concentrates on ‘the art of preserving, conserving, and candying’ with additional recipes for syrups and banqueting dishes. The second deals with the medicines and salves needed for a household of the period. Even now the author remains anonymous, not even a set of initials appears in any of the editions, there is no introduction, epistle, dedication or acknowledgement. It is possible the manuscript of ‘A Closet’ was written by a literate woman, intended for her household and personal use. The work was entered into the Stationer’s records in 1602, so it appears that the Elizabethan manuscript may have been acquired and then remained in the printer’s office for years prior to publication. It is possible that a first work on general cookery was intended to precede it, which might explain why the work jumps straight into the recipes with no prefatory material.

The work describes the domestic arts of candies and preserves that well-off ladies, gentlewomen, and housewives of the gentry might be expected to be skilled in during the late-16th until the mid-17th century and does not deal with the day-to-day cookery of a household. It provides the recipes for making those very special banqueting sweets of sugar, pastes, and waters which were thought to be necessary for special occasions and as suitable gifts as well as cosmetics eg for the preservation of a white complexion. Many bibliographies have attributed the ‘Closet’ to Sir Hugh Platt. as the anonymous ‘Closet’ were sometimes bound with Plat’s Delightes, but there seems little reason to suppose Plat wrote the Closet and allowed it to be sold anonymously and not take credit.

The second section is substantial, giving a variety of remedies for medical conditions, diseases, acquired ills like worms and pests, and accidental conditions like broken bones. It also clearly represents another manuscript, probably from a different household. These medical recipes for dealing with burns, piles, worms, collick, sores, toothache, “for the pestilence,” laxatives, menstrual problems, falling sickness, and mad dogges are written in a different style but do contain a few recipes for cookery and perfumes. These include a recipe for making fresh cheese, for the dessert known as snow, and an amusing recipe for King Henry VIII’s perfume. ‘The Closet’ represents perhaps hundreds of similar manuscripts that were once kept and prized by English households which have largely been lost. A good copy of a fascinating and rare work providing much insight into the history of food, drink and cosmetics.

STC, 5436.7 (Recording only 4 other copies B.L., Leeds, Lincoln Cathedral and Folger) Vicaire 183 “Rare et Curieux”. (1618 edition). Bitting (under Plat) 373. Hull, ‘Chaste, Silent and Obedient.’ pp. 39, 40 & 159. Ferguson V p. 44. Not in Oberlé.

L1415

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SCOT, Reginald

The discoverie of witchcraft, wherein the lewde dealing of witches and witchmongers is notablie detected…

London, William Brome, 1584.

£57,500

FIRST EDITION. 4to in 8’s. pp. [xxviii] 352 [iv] 353-560 [xvi]. Black letter, Roman and Italic, with side-notes, woodcut historiated initials, head- and tail-pieces, 4 unnumbered pp. of full-page woodcut engravings between 352-353, 5 pp. of woodcut astrological diagrams on pp 397-401. Light age browning, t.p. slightly dusty and repaired at head with some loss to ornament, repairs to margins of a few ll. throughout with no loss to text, occasional light foxing, a good, clean copy in early c19  crushed morocco, covers gilt-stamped with arms of the Society of Writers to the Signet within panel triple-ruled in gilt with corner flourishes, spine in gilt with five raised bands, a.e.g.

FIRST AND ONLY EARLY EDITION of the definitive treatise denying the existence of witches, to such an extent that it is also considered the major source for early attitudes toward, and rituals of, witchcraft, citing no less than 212 authors as well as examples from the courts of law in England. Scot is as sharp as he is humane in his attack on “witchmongers” who seek “to pursue the poore, to accuse the simple, and to kill the innocent”, pointing out  how unreasonable it is to accuse vulnerable persons of having “power which onelie apperteineth to God”.  The first four books list the procedures of identifying witches and using torture to procure confession, found in the Malleus Malificarum as well as Jean Bodin’s work. Scot quotes heavily form his sources, and refutes them only after.  He suggests to his readers that they skip the next book, which discusses in detail the many “filthie and bawdie matters” that cling to belief in witchcraft, such as sex with the devil, “how maides hauing yellow haire are most comred with Incubus”, and including excerpts from Chaucer. Next, Scot attacks beliefs in transformation into animals, transportation by air, and control of the weather. References to the Book of Job in this section leads to lengthy discussion of witchcraft as mentioned throughout Scripture, working from the Old Testament to the pagan origins of augery and astrology. The twelfth book deals with the full gamut of charms and spells, from Hebrew to English, and book 13 follows up with an inventory of materials used in magic: animals (toads and cats), minerals, crystal balls, and more relevant to modern magicians, instructions on tying trick knots, every manner of juggling, how “to make one danse naked”, and how “to thurst a bodkin into your head without hurt” (these “trick” instruments including bodkins and knives are illustrated on the four unnumbered pages of woodcuts). The final portion, and the majority of the book, considers the art of conjuring devils and spirits, including woodcuts depicting the proper symbols and commands, used to command spirits, and cause or prevent demonic possession. This section also takes into account the history of exorcism, and the laws surrounding it, of the Catholic Church. The book ends with a  chapter-by-chapter summary of topics.

Reginald Scot (1538? – 1599) never seems to have taken a degree from Hart Hall, Oxford, where he studied law, and he spent his life instead managing his property in the countryside of Kent. He was the author of only two works,  both significant in their own right: the “Perfect Platform of a Hop-garden”, the first practical treatise of its kind in England, and this, the more celerated of the two. The Discoverie elicited several heated responses from George Gifford and Henry Perkins, and even Meric Casaubon later wrote against Scot. Copies of this edition are rare, however, because King James I, demanded them to be burnt upon his accession to the throne in 1603. While the book was well received on the continent and appeared in Dutch editions of 1609 and 1637, it was not printed in England again until 1651.

STC 21864. Caillet III 10061. Graesse p. 58. “Many copies were burnt by order of K. James I an author on the other side of the question…This learned and curious work, with which Shakespeare was evidently acquainted, is frequently quoted by Steevens, Malone, Douce, &c.” Lowndes VI 2221 Thorndike VI  p. 529. DNB XVII p. 1001. Not in Pforzheimer or Groiler.

L1356

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