WAR, CHANGING SEX, AND BEASTLY LANGUAGE

‘Recueil des Pieces’.

France, 1744-1749.

75 works in one vol., 4to, totalling pp. [694] with a few blanks; one folding plate showing the siege of Berg-op-Zoom bound at end; woodcut devices, head-pieces and initials; occasional light marks and browning, a few holes to Voltaire’s Fontenoy (no. 55) affecting some words; overall very good in contemporary mottled calf, spine gilt in compartments with lettering-piece, marbled endpapers; some splitting to joints and wear to extremities.

£5500

Approximately:
US $6848€6398

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An extraordinary sammelband of seventy-five pamphlets – twenty-seven of which are recorded in only three or fewer libraries on OCLC – mostly relating to successful French exploits throughout Europe during the War of the Austrian Succession, including the Dutch and Italian campaigns and the conclusion of the war.

Bound in with numerous decrees from French bishops for the ringing of bells and the singing of Te Deums are a number of unusual pamphlets relating to the events of the time, including the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745 and the siege of Bergen-op-Zoom in 1747, consisting of epistles, poems, and songs. Of particular note are a rare group of pamphlets relating to the Abbé Coyer’s absurd works of astrology L’année merveilleuse and its Supplement (1748), both included here, which predict the metamorphosis of men into women due to the impending alignment of five planets. Other notably rare items include an apparently unrecorded early printing of Voltaire’s Battaille de Fontenoy and a second scarce work, Epistre sur la victoire remportée par le roi à Lavfeld (1747); and the curious Lettre … sur … le langage des bestes (1748), discussing the linguistics of the animal kingdom and some remarkable examples of animal behaviour.

A full listing is available on request. 

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