Bulletin IV

1. [ADVICE]. THE LOVER’S HAND BOOK or How to Woo, Win and Wed. A Guide to Sure Success in Love and Marriage. [Connecticut,  1892?]. £145

FIRST EDITION. 8vo, pp. 48; some marginal tears throughout, not affecting text; uniformly browned; partially unopened in the original printed publisher’s wrappers; slightly frayed at edges.


Uncommon and useful guide for the East Coast bachelor of the 1890s in his quest for a wife. The anonymous author, having first established whether or not a man should marry, then advises on the courtship of all types of women, whether domesticated (rare these days, apparently thanks to social reform) or bashful, an authoress or a heiress, or indeed a widow. We also find advice on popping the question, wedding etiquette, the duration of an engagement, and, in a section to itself, the causes, effects, and remedies for bashfulness, whether caused by ill-health (best cured by reading aloud to oneself in a manly manner) or by social anxiety.

“We do not attempt to lay down specific instructions, that will apply to all alike, in Loving and being Loved; but we treat the matter in such a way that it may be found helpful to all who read.”

The date and place of publication are taken from the catalogue entry for the MSU copy.

 OCLC records copies at Rochester and Michigan State.

2. DAUPHIN, Citoyen de Verdun. LA DERNIERE HÉLOÏSE. Ou lettres de Junie Salisbury, recueillies et publiées par M. Dauphin Citoyen de Verdun. Premiere [-Seconde] Partie. A Paris,  MDCCLXXXIV [1784]. £400


FIRST EDITION. Two parts in one volume, 8vo, pp. [vi], 87, [1] blank, [ii], 89-207, [1] blank; with engraved frontispiece and two engraved plates by Quéverdo; plus woodcut headpieces and engraved vignettes to both title-pages; some foxing in places throughout; in contemporary tree calf; boards edged in gilt, spine ruled in gilt with gilt-lettered morocco label; some wear, especially to spine and hinges, but still an attractive copy, with the book-plate of the 8th Duke of Devonshire on front paste-down.

First edition of this epistolary novel, one of many that appeared in the aftermath of, and in imitation of Rousseau’s Julie, in this case designed both to appeal to the readership of that work, and to the current enthusiasm for all things English.

A brief note appears after the title page, signed by J.J. Rousseau, to say “Although I only here have the title of publisher, I have myself worked on this book, and I won’t hide the fact. Have I done it all, and is the entire correspondence a fiction? People of the world, what does it matter? It’s certainly a fiction to you”. Clearly, the long deceased Rousseau was not involved in any way. A second edition appeared in 1790, without the plates.  

Gay/Lemonnyer, I, 856; OCLC records copies at Toronto, McGill, TCD, Canterbury (NZ), Berkeley, UC Irvine, Delaware, and Vanderbilt.


3. DE CRESSY. DISCOURS SUR L’ABOLITION DE LA PEINE DE MORT, par M. de Cressy, Électeur. Lu aux Amis de la Vérité.   1791. £425

FIRST EDITION. 8vo, pp. 28; aside from some light spotting, clean and fresh throughout; unbound as issued; outer leaf loose.

First edition of this foreceful cry for the abolition of the death penalty, by the Parisian politian Cressy, author the previous year of an Essai sur les moeurs

Cressy argues fiercely against capital punishment; he invites the reader to open the Code pénal, ‘ce Code de sang, si bien nommé le Code Criminel’, and to read of all the judicial assassinations. We should, he demands, abolish these laws ‘which torture and massacre men without the slightest utility’. He acknowledges that, Beccaria aside, he is up against ‘les Oracles du génie politique’ (Montesquieu, Rousseau, Mably, and Filangieri), and discusses whether, in the state of nature, a man (always a man) has the right to kill in self-defence. Certainly, the right of self-defence exists, but this does not, he suggests, extend to the right to kill. If that is the case, then it is hard to see how any such right could then exist. Cressy points out some of the internal contradictions in the arguments of both Rousseau and Montesquieu, before wondering how someone can condemn a murderer by becoming one.  

OCLC records copies at the BNF, BL, Cornell, NYPL, and the Newberry.

4. DOUGLAS, Alexander. POEMS, chiefly in the Scottish Dialect. Cupar-Fife,  1806. £300


FIRST EDITION. 8vo, pp. xx, 203, [1] errata; some foxing and browning throughout;  partially unopened in contemporary marbled boards with later pink paper spine preserving original lettering-piece; front free endpaper cropped; 20th century label (Doughty 13) on front paste-down;  somewhat worn, and extremities bumped .

First edition of this collection of poems in Scots by the little-known Fife poet Alexander Douglas.

Douglas was a weaver from the village of Strathmiglo, some 12 miles west of Cupar, where this volume was printed. While living in Kirkcaldy, the preface tells us, he encountered the works of Milton, Young, and others, ‘books which Douglas but little understood, and indeed could scarcely read but with the friendly aid of his companions’. The modest origins of the poet must, we gather, be taken into account when reading his work: ‘In perusing [the poems], the candid reader will consider the humble situation of the Poet, and his scanty means of improvement, and will chearfully make allowance for venial errors in the language of an unlettered Muse’. Nonetheless, Douglas presents an ambitious list of subscribers, mainly from Fife but as far away as Glasgow, including the Principals of St Mary’s College in St Andrews and of Edinburgh University, to whom seven copies were sent.

Among the works is First day of hairst, a lengthy poem with historical asides on Wallace and Robert the Bruce, and Peggy’s lament, in which the River Eden, otherwise strangely neglected in literature, has a starring role. A helpful glossary concludes the volume.  

OCLC records physical copies at Glasgow and Edinburgh only, although there are also copies at St Andrews and Oxford.

A decade’s progress on smallpox

5. FAUST, Bernhard Christoph. VERSUCH ÜBER DIE PFLICHT DER MENSCHEN,  Jeden Blatternkranken von der Gemeinschaft der Gesunden abzusondern: und dadurch zugleich in Städten und Ländern und in Europa die Ausrottung der Blatternpest zu bewirken. Bückeburg, bey Johann Augustin Grimme, und in Leipzig in Commission bey P.S. Kummer, 1794.

[Bound with]: OEFFENTLICHE ANSTALTEN: die Blattern, durch die Einimpfung der Kuhpocken, auszurotten. Nebst der ältesten Urkunde von den Kuhpocken, und einer beyliegenden Volksschrift: Zuruf an die Menschen.  Bückeburg, in Commission bey den Gebrüdern Hahn zu Hannover, 1804. £400

FIRST EDITIONS. Two works in one volume, 8vo, pp. 32; 32, [1], [1] blank; paper repair to title of first work; browning in places; library stamp of Donaueschingen on titles of both works; in later speckled boards.


First editions of these two works by the prolific German medical writer Bernhard Christoph Faust (1755-1842), the author of numerous popular works including an influential Gesundheits-Katechismus.

The first work is concerned with the importance of quarantine and isolation during outbreaks of smallpox, and addresses the responsibilities of cities and of states in establishing effective quarantine facilities. Faust gives an account of the numbers killed by smallpox in different states, both in Europe and in the Americas, and emphasises isolation as the best means of control; the suggestion of universal inoculation is, he suggests, impossible.

In the second work, published ten years later, the emphasis is entirely different, thanks to Jenner’s experiments with vaccination. Faust explains and praises Jenner’s discoveries and argues that vaccination should be a free service provided by the state, proposing the ways in which this might practically be achieved. 

OCLC records no copies of either work outside Continental Europe.

6. JOSEPH-RENAUD, Jean. LA DÉFENSE DANS LA RUE. Préface de M.-F.Goron. Ouvrage orné de 48 pages d’illustrations photographiques hors texte. Paris, Pierre Lafitte & Cie, [1912]. £250

FIRST EDITION. 4to, pp. xx, 420, [1] advertisement, [1] blank; numerous illustrations, mainly but not exclusively photographic, including several full page (included in pagination); some dampstaining in places but otherwise clean and fresh; in the original printed wrappers; photograph of the author wielding a cane on upper cover; binding somewhat shaken, with the odd gathering loose, and some light wear, but still an attractive copy.

First edition of this comprehensive guide to self defence and unarmed (and occasionally armed) combat, by the Olympic fencer, journalist, and playwright Jean Joseph-Renaud (1873-1853).


Joseph Renaud claims that the reader of this book will feel much more intrepid in going ‘dans les quartiers les plus excentriques et les plus mal fréquentés’ by the end of it. To that end, he advises on techniques for using revolvers, the use of a walking cane in combat, both as something to hit an assailant with and as a substitute for a fencing foil, boxing styles and methods, and the various techniques of jiu-jitsu. He also compares French boxing with its English counterpart, and describes how to defend oneself against knives and guns, before giving a tactical overview of street-fighting in various circumstances, including at night, on steps, or in a car. A final chapter examines how these principles can be applied to women.

The whole work is illustrated with frankly rather wonderful photographs, which give the lie to the idea that anyone need roll up his sleeves before engaging in a duel. Indeed, if your opponent were to do that, it could scupper your best laid plans, as the reader is often encouraged to ‘Saisissez, non le bras, MAIS LA MANCHE’.  

Outside Continental Europe, OCLC records copies at the BL, Oxford, and the National Library of Québec.

7. A LADY OF ST ANDREWS. PERSECUTION IN SCOTLAND: Letters from a Lady of St Andrews to The Children of America. New York, Published by the American Tract Society, 120 Nassau-Street, [1860s]. £195

FIRST EDITION. 8vo, pp. 48; with four engavings in the text; some slight browning in places, and small tear to upper corner of first few leaves, not affecting text’ in contemporary blind-stamped brown cloth; slightly worn.


Uncommon children’s work, by the anonymous M.M.B, a ‘Lady of St Andrews’, telling the story of the Scottish Reformation and the attendent persecution of Protestants, from 1527, when ‘Popery in its worst form was triumphant’, to the arrival of William of Orange, when ‘immediately all persecution stopped’. The author, a member of the congregation at Martyr’s Church in St Andrews, tells the story of the St Andrews reformers George Wishart and Patrick Hamilton, before widening her gaze to include John Knox, the Covenanters, Cromwell, and the wicked Charles II, over the course of nine letters. 

Alas, the identity of the author remains unknown; her zeal for Protestantism, however, is clear.   

OCLC records just one copy outside the US, at the British Library.

8. LOSCHI, Lodovico Antonio. ALLOCUZIONE AL POPOLO pronunziata nella Piazza di Modena appie’ della Statua della Liberta’ Il giorno 30. Germile A. IX. Rep. dal Presidente della Municipalita’ ... Dopo la estrazione di cinque Doti per altrettante povere zittele rustiche del Dipartimento del Panaro, fatta in occasione della Festa ordinata dal Supremo Governo di Milano per solennizzare l’epoca della conchision della Pace tra la Repubblico Francese e S.M. l’Imperatore Francesco II. Re di Ungheria e di Boemia.  In Modena, Presso la Societa’ Tipografica, [1801]. £385

FIRST EDITION. 8vo, pp. 24; printed on blue paper; a little browning and spotting in places; in the original blue wrappers; upper cover slightly loose.

Attractively printed speech to mark the signing of the treaty of Lunéville, and peace between the Holy Roman Empire and  Napoleonic France.


Loschi, the president of the Modena city council during the Cisalpine Republic, gave his speech in the shadow of a statue of Liberty, which had been erected in 1796 on the pedestal previously used for an equestrian statue of Francesco III. The address lauds the treaty, the blood not shed as a result of it, and in particular the role of il grande Eroe Bonaparte, and extols the newly acquired virtues of equality, and the release from despotism and ignorance. How Europe has changed in the age of Napoleon! Look, Loschi suggests, at Geneva, once ‘povera e squallida’, under the thumb of its bishop; now ‘ricca e brillante, soggetta al reggimento de’ suoi popolari maestrati’.

The speech is printed by the noted Jewish banker and bookseller Mosè Beniamino Foà (1729-1821), at his Società Tipografica di Modena.

Not in OCLC; ICCU records two copies in Modena.

Making a book one’s own

9. POINSINET [DE SIVRY, Louis]. ANACREON, en Vers Français. A Nancy Chez Plerre Antoine, [1758]. £685

FIRST EDITION. 8vo, pp. [x], 1-24, [2] ms notes, 25-92; [2] blank; [ii], [ii] blank, [vi], [ii] blank, 1-24, [1] ms copy of Voltaire poem, [3] blank; [iv], 1-12; [1] ms note, [5] blank, 13-24, [2] blank, 25-40, [4] blank, [2] ms poem, 41-52, [2] blank; [viii], 1-7, [3] blank; [ii], 1-8; [ii], 38; numerous woodcut initials, headpieces, and vignettes, including several cut and glued in by previous owner; similarly with many underlinings, marginal notes, corrections, and manuscript addenda, predominantly in a single (18th century?) hand; some foxing and browning in places, with glue staining around additions; in later (early 19th century?) patterned green and pink silk, later marbled endpapers; some wear, but still a lovely copy.

Uncommon first edition, comprehensively annotated and augmented by a near-contemporary owner, of Louis Poinsinet de Sivry’s translations of the works of Anacreon, Sappho, Moschus, Tyrtaeus, and Bion of Smyrna.

Throughout, the book has been altered and rearranged; many woodcut vignettes have been pasted in from other works, and whole sections of text have been cut out and moved around, or replaced with manuscript, replicating the printed text removed. Even the title-page has been customised, and additional manuscript pages include, among other things, an alternative translation by Fontenelle of one of Anacreon’s odes, and an extract from Voltaire’s imitation of Theocritus. In once case, blank paper has been pasted over a four line poem of Bion, which has then been written out on the opposite page. Other notes and marginalia include corrections, observations on favourite poems, and critical notes and emendations to the translations.


The identity of the owner and customiser remains, alas, a mystery. The binding seems later, the endpapers later still, but the annotations seem to date from the late eighteenth century (after 1772, the date of the Voltaire extract). In any case, it is a fascinating example of the ways in which a printed text could be adapted to suit the taste of its owner.  

Outside continental Europe, OCLC records copies at Virginia, Oxford, and the British Library.

First American extract from the Vindication?

10. [WOLLSTONECRAFT, Mary]. COLUMBIAN CENTINEL. CENTINEL. EXTRA. Miscellany. For the Centinel. Character of, and extracts from the Rights of Woman: [This valuable work is now in the Press of Messrs Thomas and Andrews, in this town, and will be published in a few weeks]. Boston, Printed and Published by Benjamin Russell, Wednesday, November 28, 1792. £950

NEWSPAPER. Folio (245x190mm), pp. 4; as supplement to main paper (432x266mm), pp. 4; tightly cropped at foot, but with loss only of a couple of letters of advertisement on last page; uniformly browned, slightly frayed at edges, with small tear in gutter of main paper, but generally very well preserved. 

This supplement to the Boston newspaper the Columbian Centinel contains what may be the first printed extract and review of Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Woman to appear in America, shortly before the book’s publication in Boston (and separately in Philadelphia).

Newspaper advertisements for Wollstonecraft’s work had appeared in American newspapers as early as October 1, 1792 in publications including the Massachusetts Spy and the Federal Gazette, detailing the publication and the projected price, but antipating a delivery date, for the Philadelphia edition, of January 1793. However, insofar as these were anything more than announcements, they gave no more than a general recommendation and an invitation to subscribe. In the announcement here, however, a much fuller account of the book is given; the reviewer notes the ‘acrinomious severity’ with which Madame de Stael, Genlis, and Piozzi are ‘lashed’, admires the ways in which the ‘sophisms of the citizen of Geneva’ are ‘happily refuted’, and praises Wollstonecraft for wielding ‘the sword of reason, with the dexterity of a scientifick warriour’. This introduction is accompanied by a three paragraph extract from Chapter 7 of the Vindication, on modesty, which is, to the best of our knowledge, the earliest American printing of any of Wollstonecraft’s text.


The American publication history of the Vindication remains unclear; both Thomas and Andrews in Boston and William Gibbons in Philadelphia aimed, separately, to publish the work, and had advertised subscriptions, but it is impossible to establish priority with any certainty. I am grateful to Jim Green at the Library Company of Philadelphia for his help with newspaper advertisements.  

OCLC appears to find no printed copies of this issue.

© Edmund Brumfitt Rare Books 2017