Oblong 12mo, pp. , -47, [1 (blank)], with frontispiece and 6 hand-coloured plates; light spotting, a small damp-stain to upper corner of first leaves, small tear to lower corner of frontispiece (without affecting print); stab-stitched and attractively preserved in contemporary paste-paper wrappers.
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Les Matinées de la poupée, ou récréations d’une petite fille.
First and only edition, very rare, of a charming illustrated account of a girl’s doll. Brillantine, a doll, is given to Célénie for company while her elder sister Alméa is in Africa; the book recounts in detail their relationship over the course of a week, from Brillantine’s arrival with the family d’Ervilliers (on Saturday 18 May 1844), the provision of her wardrobe and furnishing of her apartment (a cabinet overlooking the garden), her education by Célénie, and their adventures meeting other girls and dolls and going on a horse-ride.
The work ends with Brillantine’s departure and the promise of further stories, subsequently published in 1848 as Les Soirées de la poupée, ou suite des ‘Récréations d’une petite fille’. No copies traced in the UK or US; OCLC records copies of both works at BnF only.
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[MONTAGU, Mary Wortley (attr.), and PUISSIEUX, Madeline de (translator).]
La femme n’est pas inferieure a l’homme, traduit de l’anglois.
First French translation, uncommon, of Woman not inferior to Man: or, a short and modest Vindication of the natural Right of the fair-Sex to a perfect Equality of Power, Dignity, and Esteem, with the Men, first published in 1739 under the name ‘Sophia, a person of quality’ and sometimes attributed to Mary Wortley Montagu (1689–1762; see Quaritch, Women (2019) 36). Drawing on De l’égalité des deux sexes of Poulain de la Barre, the work examines the justness of the esteem (or lack thereof) in which men hold women, the relative intellectual capacities of the two sexes, whether men are fitter to govern and hold public office than women, and whether women are capable of teaching the sciences and serving in the military. The author concludes: ‘let us show [men], by what little we do without aid of education, the much we might do if they did us justice; that we may force a blush from them, if possible, and compel them to confess their own baseness to us, and that the worst of us deserve much better treatment than the best of us receive’.
SWITCHED AT BIRTH GAYOT DE PITAVAL (Conseil).
Question d’estat: fille reclamée par deux meres.
First edition of this account by the famous advocate François Gayot de Pitaval (1673–1743) of a 1709 case, where a midwife had substituted a new-born girl who was then claimed both by the real mother and the woman to whom the baby had been given. Pitaval’s account details the principles by which decisions are made about parenthood in lieu of proper evidence, and seeks to prove who the true parents are, with evidence from the midwife and others. Various objections, both factual and legal, are addressed, and the account closes with a statement of the damages awarded to the parents after the lengthy and public case.