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2020-11-20 07:17:15
[ANONYMOUS]; LAVATER, Johann Kaspar; SUE, Jean-Joseph
CONTEMPORARY SPOOF OF PHYSIOGNOMY
London: Millar Ritchie, 1800. Full-page etched frontispiece by Grignion after C.R. Ryley, Grace Sacrificing to the Muses. Contemporary half blind-decorated blue morocco over marbled boards, spine and title gilt, edges speckled red and blue. A perfect copy of a curious and uncommon book.First edition, a whimsical English digest of Lavater's landmark work on physiognomy. The anonymous author affixed the names of two great contemporary natural scientists to the work in hopes of it being taken seriously, but chose to remain anonymous in case the "literary and fashionable world" to whom it is addressed did not view it favorably (they did not). The 24 essays address the attributes and appearance of men, women, birds, fish, amphibians, insects, worms, and vegetables. The author attempts to determine what makes a person beautiful, how passion is inflamed or tempered, what character traits are derived from one's complexion (this chapter, in particular, has not aged well), the physical aspects of a horse that can identify it as docile, which birds rule over others, how snakes and sly people tend to resemble one another, the singular virtues of the worm, how a damp climate can retard the growth of palm trees; the list goes on. An alphabetical index makes the text user-friendly.OCLC locates no physical copies in America. [Attributes: First Edition]
Bookseller: Rootenberg Rare Books & Manuscripts [United States]
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