3 vols., 8vo., with the half-titles; a very good copy in near-contemporary quarter green calf and marbled boards by Bibolet, spines gilt, black morocco labels; armorial bookplates of O’Neal Segrave.
US $590 €503
First edition of a witty novel by the author of Almack’s Revisited (that marvellous parvenu’s manual disguised as a satire on parvenus). The Adventures of a King’s Page has a wider scope than the social hothouse of the silver fork novel, featuring a pageant of (among others) military men, foreigners, royals, hotel-keepers, colonials, and clergymen, alongside the fashionable aristocrats one expects to find lining the pages of a novel of this date. The plot is driven forward by a colourful but controlled rush of event, character and location, and concerns the difficult but ultimately triumphant adventures of Arthur Beverley, a ‘young man of peculiar character, and most delicate constitution’, the son of an English expatriate General in France (and, after the Revolution, Italy), and the victim of ‘a romantic turn’ in early youth. Wolff 7171; Garside, Raven, Schöwerling 1829:81.
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Call it Sleep.
First English edition, first published in New York by Robert O. Ballou in 1934.
MARINI, Giovanni Ambrogio.
The Desperadoes; an heroick History. Translated from the Italian of the celebrated Marini (the Original having passed ten Editions.) Containing a Series of the most surprizing Adventures of the Princes Formidaur and Florian … In four Books. Embellish’d with eight excellent Copper-Plates.
First and only edition in English of Le gare de’ disperati (1644), the second of three romances by Marini (1596-1668). Inevitably, ‘It was necessary to omit many Things that were contrary to our Morals; to Decency, and to the Purity of the English Tongue …’. But the general scheme of events is the same as the original, and is outlined on the title-page: ‘A Series of the most surprizing Adventures of the Princes Formidaur and Florian; the former being in love with Zelinda, whom he takes to be his own Sister; and the latter having married Fidalme, who he supposes to be his father’s Daughter by a second Wife, and afterwards kills in Disguise in single Combat. With a Relation of the various amazing Accidents, and Misfortunes, which happen thereon, until the Whole concludes with making them all happy, by a most extraordinary and uncommon Revolution.’