Les confessions d’une courtisane devenue philosophe.

Londres et Bruxelles, Le Francq, 1784.

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.

£850

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Les confessions d’une courtisane devenue philosophe.

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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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