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2020-05-23 00:08:02
Montez, Madame Lola [Countess of Landsfeld]
The Arts of Beauty; or, Secrets of a Lady's Toilet. With Hints to Gentlemen on the Art of Fascinating
Dick & Fitzgerald, New York, 1858. Original publisher's cloth binding stamped in gilt and blind. Brown coated endpapers. Several small spots to front board. Lower corners gently bumped. Bookplate of Jane des Grange to front endpaper. Collates xvii, [1], 19-132, [12]: complete. Light scattered foxing, else clean and unmarked. In all, a pleasing copy. Scarce in trade and institutionally, OCLC locates 8 copies worldwide, of which 6 are in the U.S. The infamous Lola Montez managed to fit multiple lives into one: actress and dancer, courtesan, mistress to King Ludwig I of Bavaria, Countess of Landsfeld, and finally revolution-era emigree to California. In each of these roles, she relied on a finely honed sense of social diplomacy and wit to accomplish her ends; and The Arts of Beauty is the perfect textual product to encapsulate these skills. Engaging with classical satirical texts like Ovid's Ars Amatoria as well as contemporary conduct guides penned by men for the "benefit" of women, Montez composes a manual that is part informative beauty instructor and part parody. The Greek and Roman sources she references point to her intellectual depth and position of authority -- on the first page of the preface alone appear names and quotations from Aristotle, Juvenal, Socrates, and Theophrastus -- but they are also used to set the cheeky tone of the work. "When Aristotle was asked why everyone was so fond of beauty, he replied 'It is the question of a blind man.'" Fully aware that a woman's success was often bound to both her ability to physically and mentally fascinate men, Montez set … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Whitmore Rare Books, Inc. -- ABAA, ILAB [Pasadena, CA, U.S.A.]
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