TUKE, Thomas

TUKE, Thomas A treatise against paintng [sic] and tincturing of men and women: against murther and poysoning: pride and ambition: adulterie and witchcraft. ...

London, Printed by Tho. Creed, and Barn. Allsope, for Edward Merchant, 1616


FIRST EDTION. 4to. pp. [xiv], 62: A (-A1,±A2), B-I , K (-K4). without initial and terminal blanks A1 and K4. “Title page is a cancel. Includes a reprint of: Tuke, Thomas. The picture of a picture: or, The character of a painted woman (STC 24312.7).” ESTC. Roman and Italic letter. Woodcut initials, head-pieces, typographical ornaments, engraved bookplate of Henry B. H. Beaufoy (1786-1851), vinegar manufacturer and philanthropist on pastedown. Light age yellowing, cut a little close at head, just trimming running headlines in places, shaving head of letter ‘A’ on title, title very fractionally dusty, small stain to fore edge of first few ll. A good copy in early C19th calf, covers bordered with a blind scroll, rebacked, corners restored, a.e.g.

First edition of this most interesting treatise on the use of makeup in men and women; Thomas Tuke’s ‘A discourse against painting and tincturing of men and women’ is a biblically inspired attack on cosmetics. Not only are painted women here compared with demons and barbarians, Tuke goes so far as to argue that anatomical alterations might generate biological difference and be passed on to a woman’s progeny. Thomas Tuke “royalist divine, was educated at Christ’s College, Cambridge, ..  He was ‘minister of God’s word’ at St. Giles’s-in-the-Fields, London, in 1616. On 19 July 1617 he was presented by James I to the vicarage of St. Olave Jewry, and he held that living till 16 March 1642–3, when he was sequestered, plundered, and imprisoned for his adherence to the royalist cause.” DNB

“In the classical tradition, attacks on make up and elaborate dressing, which first emerged among cynic philosophers including Diogenes, were more fully developed in the stoic philosophy of figures such as Epicetus and Seneca, and in the satirical writings of Perseus and Juvenal. This tradition combined with biblical denunciations of lavish appearance to produce a ‘cosmetic theology’ which under the influence of a number of early Christian authors and church fathers including Tertullian, Saint Cyprian, and Saint Ambrose, assumed anti-feminist values. … Thomas Tuke’s attack on painting and tincturing falls into the second category and while it purports to deal with excessive make up used by men and women, like the ‘Homily on Apparel’, it soon concentrates exclusively on and against women. The charges made .. are that women’s use of cosmetics disrupts secular and religious hierarchies. Most significantly, women are seen to threaten the cosmic and natural order, challenging the perfection of gods creation and claiming their own powers of self fashioning and creation. They are also accused of seeking to lead men astray, delivering them to sensual destruction, whilst at the same time trying to avoid the inevitability of ageing and death. These sorts of criticisms are voiced by characters in numerous Elizabethan and Jacobean plays and poems, sometimes as a part of a wider social attack made by malcontent figures but always, as noted above, with a misogynistic twist. Tuke’s treatise conforms to these moralistic patterns. He approvingly cites the views of many religious authorities, linking the church fathers to a number of Reformation and Calvinist theologians. Occasionally the focus of his attack switches from women to the decadence of catholicism, suggesting that cosmetic theology might form part of the bridge between Protestantism and the primitive church. At other times, the antifeminist and anti-Catholic positions coalesce, … and misogynistic imagery is used to validate the righteousness of English Protestantism.” Lloyd Davis. ‘Sexuality and Gender in the English Renaissance.’

Appended at the end of this work is Tuke’s ‘The picture of a picture: or, The character of a painted woman’ (STC 24312.7) first printed as a broadsheet a year earlier, which survives in one copy only, at the Bodleian. Tuke also deals briefly with adultery, or ‘whoredome’, and witchcraft, including reference to the case of Mistress Turner, executed in 1615 for her part in the poisoning of Thomas Overbury.

A very rare and fascinating work.

ESTC S120549. STC 24316. Hull, ‘Chaste, Silent and Obedient.’ 231. Not in Erdmann or Gay.
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