8vo, pp. 224; some light foxing and dampstaining, a few pages cropped at lower edge; a very good copy in the original blue paper printed wrappers, with some dampstaining.
US $1294 €1067
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Microselene. Curioso viaggio etereo di madamigella Garnerin.
First edition of an innovative early Italian work of satirical imaginative fiction. Subtitled the ‘Curioso viaggio etereo di madamigella Garnerin’ [The Curious Voyage of Miss Garnerin], Microselene centres on an aeroporista [aeronaut], and begins with her ascent in a hot air balloon, based on the famous exploits of Elisa Garnerin (1791-1853), the French parachutist and balloonist. As with the novels of Jules Verne several decades later, recent developments in technology provide fuel for speculation; but unlike his strictly-circumscribed adventures, the present work revels in diverging fantastically (and comically) from the limitations of scientific possibility.
The work begins with Garnerin’s ascent in a hot-air balloon, at which point, ‘la terra appariva al suo sguardo come un formicaio’ [the Earth seeming to her eyes like a vast anthill], she muses on the vanity and pride of humanity. Although this brief commentary is ostensibly interrupted, it strikes a satirical note which continues throughout the work, which finds comedy in the fantastic (and places closer to home) in the manner of Gulliver’s Travels. Garnerin meets a sylph (air spirit) riding a cloud being drawn by an eagle and a vulture ‘as big as an ox’, who offers her the opportunity to visit the Earth’s second, lesser-known satellite, the eponymous Microselene. The work’s self-conscious narrative method regularly digresses to move between characters and locations, and being punctuated by the occasional intrusions of a narrative voice, who addresses the reader on various occasions to excuse the deficiencies in his style, or failing to conform to the tragic or comic mode, concluding with a forceful apology for imaginative fiction, declaring that ‘la vita stessa è un continuo vaneggiament’ [life itself is a continuous delirium].
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[LAFONT, Joseph de.]
Hypermnestre, tragedie, mise au theatre de l’Academie Royale de Musique de Lyon, pour la prémière fois en 1742. Le prix est de douze sols.
Very scarce Lyon edition of the libretto for the tragedy Hypermnestre by the French playwright Joseph de Lafont (1686-1725). First performed in 1716, with music by Charles-Hubert Gervais, the play was initially criticised for its fifth act, but after rewriting by abbé Simon-Joseph Pellegrin enjoyed considerable success both with the public and at court. Lafont died at the age of 39, succumbing to his affection for wine.
In 1742 Hypermnestre was performed for the first time at the Royal Academy of Music in Lyon, and this edition gives the names of the singers, actors and actresses who performed. The title role was played by Mlle Louise Jacquet (b. 1722) who began her singing career at the Paris Opera in 1738 and subsequently moved to Aix-en-Provence. An attractive portrait of her was painted by Jean-Etienne Liotard.
In Greek mythology, Hypermnestra was one of the fifty daughters of Danaus, king of Argos, who defied her father by refusing to kill her husband Lynceus.
We have traced only 3 copies, at the BnF, BM Lyon, and the Library of Congress.
ZAPPI, Giambattista and Faustina.
Rime di Giambattista Felice Zappi e di Faustina Maratti sua consorte.
Uncommon Nice printing of the collected poetry of one of the most prominent literary couples of early 18th century Rome, Faustina Maratti (1679–1745) and her husband Giambattista Zappi (1667–1719). First published after Zappi’s death in 1723, the collection consists of 73 poems by Zappi and 38 by Maratti. The two had met through the Accademia degli Arcadi, of which Zappi was a founder member and Maratti was one of the earliest female members. The present printing is by the Société typographique in Nice, established in 1779 by Charles Cristini, which specialised in the printing of Italian classics.
Outwith Continental Europe, OCLC records copies at Yale, Harvard, Wisconsin, Missouri, and the BL.