for Tommaso BUONI?)]. Della famosissima compagnia della lesina. Dialogo, capitoli, e ragionamenti. [Bound with:] Continuatione de gl’ordini, & capitoli della compagnia della lesina [and:] Consulto delle matrone, seconda additione a gl’ordini, & capitoli della lesina. Vicenza, Giorgio Greco, 1601.

Vicenza, Giorgio Greco, 1601.

Three parts in one vol., 8vo, ff. [viii], 108, [7], [2 blank]; ff. 81, [1 blank]; separate titles with woodcut awl device, woodcut decorative initials; occasional spotting and light water-staining, a few small stains, but a very good copy in contemporary limp vellum, lightly soiled.


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Scarce humorous dystopia of indigence, first edition thus: the first to include a section specifically directed at women. Styled as the statutes and histories of a fictitious society, the ‘Company of Stinginess’, founded to promote thrift in an age of economic depression and scarcity, made its debut in Italy in the 1550s. In a satirical upturning of the outlook of the Renaissance homo quidam deus, the characters decry in man ‘the blindest of all animals … a mathematical body without points, raw material without power … beast of burden with no control’ (transl. from the dedication to ‘The Stingy’). In a parody of the happy citizens of Utopia, Cockaigne and all Renaissance utopian reformers, the Dialogo offers improbable suggestions for thrift in all aspects of life, particularly food, drink, clothing. This is the first edition to include the final part, over 160 pages devoted to thrift in a woman’s life.

Westbury, Handlist of Italian Cookery Books, p.97; see Goldsmiths’-Kress 4750-1 and Goldsmiths’-Kress 29580-1.

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