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2017-06-11 14:28:39
[COQUELET, Louis (1676-1754)]
Eloge de la méchante femme, Dédié à Mademoiselle Honesta
Paris: Antoine de Heuqueville, 1731. 12mo (156 x 87 mm). [8], 49, [1] pp., 1 blank leaf. Woodcut title vignette, headpieces and initials. Offsetting of a title-page from a different work on verso of final blank leaf (see below). A few leaves browned. Early 19th-century French speckled calf, gilt Greek key border roll, spine gold-tooled, edges red-sprinkled (joints and extremities scuffed). *** First Edition (or first edition thus) of a very funny semi-feminist encomium of mean b***hes. In his dedication to "Madame Honesta," a paradigm of nasty womanhood, the author explains that he had looked high and low throughout the streets and salons of Paris (thronging with "sheeplike souls," sweet mild-mannered ladies) for a truly méchante femme, before finally finding her. Her ill-temper, intolerance of bores and of contradiction, and readiness to scratch the eyes out of anyone who displeases her (and who doesn't displease her?) are the hallmarks of her Nastiness. The author expresses an occasionally ambivalent attitude toward women (typical of the average husband perhaps) that echoes in places earlier misogynist parodies, but his expressions of respect for strong women and disdain for male self-delusion seem unfeigned. He introduces his subject with an extended mockery of superstition, in which category he classes men's fears of méchantes femmes, which had been drilled into them at a young age, just like their fears of the number thirteen, etc. These irrational prejudices against outspoken strong-willed women are fortified by the world's male authors: brief citations and paraphr … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Musinsky Rare Books, Inc.
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