TRIESTINE TALES FOR TEENAGERS

Racconti per gli adolescenti.  Con tavole miniate. 

Trieste, ‘Sezione Letterario-Artistica del Lloyd Austriaco’, 1857. 

8vo, pp. [2], 134, with 8 hand-coloured lithographic plates; foxed throughout; in publisher’s dark blue pictorial cloth, front board blocked in gilt with details in red, blue, white, and green; spine sunned, short splits to front joint.

£350

Approximately:
US $442€413

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Racconti per gli adolescenti.  Con tavole miniate. 

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First and only edition, extremely rare, of these cautionary tales for adolescents, featuring inter alia debates among children on the ethics of taxidermy, a brawl in Latin lessons, arrests for embezzlement, and the unjust incarceration of a schoolboy. 

The nine diverting (if somewhat saccharine) stories, accompanied by charming lithographic plates, encourage a virtuous life and promote kindness and respect for one’s elders while condemning materialism and cruelty.  In ‘Il naturalista’, for instance, Bice begs her brother, Costantino, to cease strangling small animals and taxidermizing them in pursuit of science; after he sees his pet rabbits eaten by a cat and is himself mauled by a frightened fox, he vows never to harm another animal and instead devotes himself to the pursuit of geology.  ‘L’avanzamento di classe’, on the other hand, promotes studiousness and forgiveness: Eugenio, the school bully, insults Franceschino and his sister, later slapping the former across the face during a Latin oral examination; Eugenio fails his exams and is only able to progress to the next year thanks to the intervention of Franceschino, who quite literally turns the other cheek and becomes Eugenio’s loyal friend. 

Österreichischer Lloyd, or Lloyd Austriaco, was the largest Austro-Hungarian shipping company, based at Trieste (then under Austrian rule) and providing cargo and passenger services from Trieste and Venice to Africa, Asia, and the Middle East; curiously, the organisation established an Art and Literature Section, with their own printing house, in 1849. 

No copies recorded on ICCU, OCLC, or Library Hub.  Allgemeines Deutsches Bucher-Lexikon VI (1858), p. 103. 

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