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Jocko, Anecdote détachée des lettres inédites sur l'instinct des animaux.
Paris: [J Tastu for ] P. Persan, 1824. Duodecimo, some foxing, localised stain affects the final leaf; good in contemporary quarter sheep with marbled boards. First edition: a curious tale exploring the dual nature of humans and primates, rich in philosophical reflection and purportedly based upon scientific and voyage literature.Charles Pougens (1755-1833) was an indefatigable scholar and linguist whose promising diplomatic career was cut short when blinded by the pox at 24 years of age. Pougens continued as a man-of-letters and publisher who enjoyed close contact with luminaries and intellectuals of the era.Jocko is a fictional work, relating the experiences of a traveller who forms a friendship with a female orang-outang on an unnamed island in the New World. Similarities between human and orang-outang behaviour are explored, although the simian is presented as an innocent ultimately duped by human greed.The author's insatiable erudition is attested by the 84 pages of evidence that accompany the short story; every aspect of the tale is linked to scientific and voyage literature. A galaxy of scholars and travellers are enlisted in the cause, including naturalists such as Cuvier and Geoffrey Saint-Hilaire, philosophers, and a number of famous voyagers including Schouten, Dampier and Bergeron. These notes are followed by an equally impressive alphabetical list of authors cited. The list is bibliographically detailed (we learn, for instance, that Pougens consulted the 1711-1712 Amsterdam edition of Dampier issued in five volumes).The scholarly nature of Jocko did not diminish the popular appeal of the story; a second edition appeared the same year and theatrical adaptations attracted large audiences.
      [Bookseller: Hordern House]
Last Found On: 2017-03-04           Check availability:      Direct From Seller    


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