12mo, pp. [viii], 132; aside from very occasional light spotting, clean and crisp throughout; uncut in contemporary orange wrappers, handwritten paper label at head of spine; some light wear, but still a lovely copy.
US $1160 €954
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Les confessions d’une courtisane devenue philosophe.
First edition (another appeared in the same year with a “Londres et se trouve à Paris” imprint) of this anonymous novel describing the ascent (or perhaps descent) of a courtesan into the world of the philosophe; naturally, she is of good family but is driven to be a courtesan by love, before reflections on morals and manners, and a love of truth and candour, lead her back to a more sedate and contemplative life. Some of our heroine’s contemplations are articulated in the second part, where she reflects on female ornament, friendship, the seductive qualities of science and the arts, natural law, the crime of adultery, and the state in which illegitimate children find themselves. Despite her doubtless busy schedule, our narrator has found the time to read Montesquieu and Puffendorf.
Gay I 659.
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HEBRIDAL SMELT YARRELL, William.
A History of British Fishes … illustrated by nearly 400 Woodcuts.
First collected editions, with an autograph letter on the Hebridal smelt from the species’ discoverer. Published serially from 1835 to 1836, Yarrell’s History of British Fishes was reprinted within a year, and followed soon after by Thomas Bell’s British Reptiles in 1839 and his own British Birds in 1843 published by van Voorst and together forming a comprehensive survey of British wildlife. Though noted for his careful observations, Yarrell is here corrected on several points in an autograph letter to the antiquarian Adam Sim (1805–1868) from William Euing (1788–1874), who had discovered the Hebridal smelt (first included in the Supplement) in November 1837.
Despite this contribution to Scottish ichthyology, Euing, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and President of the Glasgow Archaeological Society, is best remembered for his fine library, of which some twelve thousand volumes now belong to Glasgow University.
VALENTINE, James (photographer).
Album of Scottish views, mainly of Stirling and surroundings.
A handsome example of a topographical view album by the Scottish photographer James Valentine, focusing on Stirling and the surrounding areas.
The images include ‘Stirling Castle from King’s Knott’ and several other views of Stirling Castle, ‘Vale of Monteith from Stirling’; ‘Bruce statue looking to Wallace’; ‘Windings of the Forth and Abbey Craig, Stirling’; ‘King Street, Stirling’; ‘Cambuskenneth Abbey and tomb of James III’; ‘Field of Bannockburn from Gillies Hill’; ‘On the Allan Water’; ‘Kier House’; ‘Dunblane Cathedral from river’; ‘Doune Castle’; ‘Callander from west’; ‘Silver Strand, Loch Katrine’; ‘Ellen’s Isle and Ben Venue, Loch Katrine’; ‘Luss Pier, Loch Lomond’; ‘Camstradden Bay, Loch Lomond’; and ‘Inversnaid Falls’.
James Valentine (1815–1879) was an engraver and photographer from Dundee who was one of the original members of the Edinburgh Photographic Society, founded in 1861. By the end of the 1850s he had established himself as a portrait photographer and then, after instruction under Francis Frith in Reigate, Surrey, he began to photograph landscapes as well.
He converted a barouche into a mobile dark-room and travelled around Scotland building a portfolio of topographical views which brought him to Queen Victoria’s attention in 1864 and eventually led to him being granted a royal warrant in late 1867. As ‘photographer to the Queen’ he sold individual albums, such as the present one, for prices ranging from half a guinea to 12 guineas aimed at upper and middle class tourists. James Valentine had two sons who followed him into the business and were constantly experimenting with new techniques; the firm became the longest-running photographic publishers in Britain.