12mo, pp. 107,  advertisements, with folding handcoloured fronispiece; some browning and foxing throughout, due to paper quality, but never heavy; closely cropped at head with very slight loss to page number of penultimate page; in contemporary navy morocco-backed boards, spine lettered and ruled in gilt; some wear to extremities, and corners bumped and worn.
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MANUEL CONSOLATEUR DES COCUS. Code pacifique des ménages, ouvrage éminemment uBle; suivi 1. D’un tableau des moeurs et usages de différentes naBons relaBvement aux finançailles, au mariage, à la polygamie, à l’adultère et au divorce; 2. De traits relaBfs au prêt, à la vente, à l’achat, à la locaBon, à la mise en gage ou à l’essai des femmes chez certains peuples; 3. Des manières differentes d’envisager la virginité dans plusieurs pays; 4. D’aventures galantes et d’anecdotes sur les courBsanes, les concubines, etc, etc, etc. Traduit fidèlement de l’anglais, Par le Baron Commode.
First edition, very rare, of this satirical defence and exploration of cuckoldry in European and global culture, written by the Lille printer and bookseller Simon-François Blocquel (1780–1863) under one of his many pseudonyms.
Obviously not a translation from the English, the Manuel is designed to console the cuckold with the thought that his state is both agréable and utile; Blocquel attempts to prove this using several arguments. First, and far from least, the cuckold’s errant wife will manifest her feelings of guilt in increased tenderness towards her husband; secondly, it could well result in financial gain, as the lover might be able to “acheter en même temps la complaisance intéresée de celui dont il occupe la place”. However, these are not the only things to console a cuckold; just look, Blocquel suggests, at all those who have been in the same boat, throughout history. Some are illustrated on the folding frontispiece (and who could object to being in the same situation as, say, Vulcan?); others are shown in sketches, and range from magistrates to philosophers. The work then turns anthropological, with descriptions of the marital customs of different countries (women having many husbands in Tibet, the punishments for adultery in Korea, the sale of wives in Brighton, and so on), and their various altudes to divorce, virginity, polygamy, and nudity. It is doubtful that Blocquel’s research for this section was entirely thorough.
Gay 551 (giving date as 1833); OCLC records copies at Chicago, Montpellier and the BNF only.
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