The Desperadoes; an heroick History. Translated from the Italian of the celebrated Marini (the Original having passed ten Editions.) Containing a Series of the most surprizing Adventures of the Princes Formidaur and Florian … In four Books. Embellish’d with eight excellent Copper-Plates.

London: Printed by W. R. and sold by T. Asltey … J. Isted … and T. Worrall … 1733.

8vo., pp. [2], iv, [2], 5-284; with a frontispiece and seven other engraved plates; a few small stains, slightly shaken, in contemporary half calf and marbled boards, rubbed and scraped; early gift inscription to title-page ‘Carolus a Carolo d’Avenant'.

£1000

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First and only edition in English of Le gare de’ disperati (1644), the second of three romances by Marini (1596-1668). Inevitably, ‘It was necessary to omit many Things that were contrary to our Morals; to Decency, and to the Purity of the English Tongue …’. But the general scheme of events is the same as the original, and is outlined on the title-page: ‘A Series of the most surprizing Adventures of the Princes Formidaur and Florian; the former being in love with Zelinda, whom he takes to be his own Sister; and the latter having married Fidalme, who he supposes to be his father’s Daughter by a second Wife, and afterwards kills in Disguise in single Combat. With a Relation of the various amazing Accidents, and Misfortunes, which happen thereon, until the Whole concludes with making them all happy, by a most extraordinary and uncommon Revolution.’

Marini’s biography remains vague, but he was the author of several successful romances, the first being Calloandro (1640-1), written under a complicated collection of pseudonyms. Le gare de’ disperati was the only work by him to be translated into English.

ESTC lists seven copies: BL, Cambridge, National Library of Ireland; Columbia, Harvard, UCLA, and University of Pennsylvania.

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