CHAPBOOK SATIRE OF ANCIEN RÉGIME LAW

Les misères des plaideurs. 

[France, between 1800 and 1830.] 

12mo, pp. 10, [2]; first and final leaves as wrappers, with typographical borders of various ornaments, two woodcut vignettes on lower wrapper; trimmed close at head (just touching an ornament on p. 3 and pagination verso), nonetheless an excellent copy, stab-stitched as issued.

£120

Approximately:
US $133€136

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First separate, chapbook-form edition of this satirical verse commentary of juridical practices, exposing the intricate, defeating vagaries of trials, lawyers and a justice system not fit for purpose, which had first appeared in Satires nouvelles par le sieur D*** (Paris, Jacques Collombat, 1701). 

The two woodcuts on the lower wrapper are unrelated to the content: the first shows the river nymph Liriope presenting her infant son Narcissus to the blind seer Tiresias (‘Terisias’) to enquire about his destiny; the second, a toad.  They may, however, point to the printer: such illustrations have been found in works produced by the Chalopin press. 

Rare: apparently three copies only in US institutions (Yale Law School Library, Princeton, and George Washington University Law Library), and none in the UK. 

Champfleury, Histoire de l’imagerie populaire (Paris, Dentu, 1869), pp. 233-234. 

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