VICTOR HUGO’S GOLDEN ASS

L. Apuleii Metamorphoseos, sive lusus Asini libri XI.  Floridoru[m] IIII.  De deo Socratis I.  De philosophia I.  Asclepius Trismegisti dialogus eode[m] Apuleio i[n]terprete.  Eiusdem Apuleii liber de dogmatis Platonicis.  Eiusde[m] liber de mundo … Apologiae II.  Isagogicus liber Platonicae philosophiae per Alcinou[m] philosophum, graece impressus … 

Venice, ‘in aedibus Aldi et Andreae Soceri’, May 1521. 

8vo, ff. ‘266’ (recte 264), [28]; text in italic, capital spaces with guide letters, second part in Greek, woodcut Aldine device to title and last page; occasional light foxing, some light marginal dampstaining towards the end, but a very good copy; bound in eighteenth-century(?) vellum over boards, title and imprint in ink to spine; some rubbing to extremities, a little marked and dusty, upper hinge almost split; marginal annotations in a sixteenth-century hand to 45 pp., a few manicules, bookplate of Victor Hugo and late nineteenth-century ink stamp of Dr Emeric Forbath to front pastedown.

£2000

Approximately:
US $2597€2378

Add to basket Make an enquiry

Added to your basket:
L. Apuleii Metamorphoseos, sive lusus Asini libri XI.  Floridoru[m] IIII.  De deo Socratis I.  De philosophia I.  Asclepius Trismegisti dialogus eode[m] Apuleio i[n]terprete.  Eiusdem Apuleii liber de dogmatis Platonicis.  Eiusde[m] liber de mundo … Apologiae II.  Isagogicus liber Platonicae philosophiae per Alcinou[m] philosophum, graece impressus … 

Checkout now

First Aldine edition of the works of the second-century AD Numidian novelist Apuleius, with the editio princeps of Alcinous’s second-century handbook on Plato’s philosophy in the original Greek, from the library of the great French writer Victor Hugo. 

The text opens with Apuleius’s most famous work, the eleven-book romance known as the Metamorphoses or Golden Ass, featuring the wonderful tale of Cupid and Psyche.  Then follow his Florida (excerpts from his philosophical lectures), De deo Socratis (on the existence and nature of ‘daimons’), De dogmate Platonis (on Plato’s physics and ethics), De Mundo (a translation of a pseudo-Aristotelian work on the universe), and his Apologia (a speech defending himself against a charge of bewitching his wife, with much on magic). 

Provenance:
1.  The neat marginal annotations and manicules by a sixteenth-century reader display a particular interest in the Florida, De deo Socratis, and Apologia

2.  This copy bears the handsome bookplate of Victor Hugo (1802–1885), designed for him in 1870 by Aglaüs Bouvenne (1829–1903) and incorporating the western façade of Notre-Dame de Paris.  Hugo refers to Apuleius twice in Les Misérables, in chapters 8 and 10. 

EDIT16 CNCE 2231; Renouard, Annales de l’imprimerie des Alde (1834), p. 91; USTC 810106. 

You may also be interested in...