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L'Imprimerie de Migneret, Paris 1797 - 487,[1]pp. Large octavo (230 x 160 mm). Contemporary tree calf, spine and edges decorated in gilt, a.e.g. Engraved portrait and 6 plates. A bit of dusting and foxing to prelims and terminal leaves; a bit of marginal spotting/foxing to plates and tissue guards; lower extremities and forecorners worn, with shallow loss at toe of spine, otherwise a very good copy. First edition in this format, with the text in parallel Italian and French. Illustrated with plates engraved by Choffard, Halbou, Ingouf, Patas, Gaucher and Lingée after designs by Le Barbier. The portrait was engraved by Gaucher after La Tour. This copy is from the deluxe issue on large vélin, with the plates before letters. Graffigny's epistolary novel was first published anonymously in 1747, represented as a sequence of letters written by a young Incan princess, Zilia, who was abducted by the Spanish during the conquest, and then after being rescued by French sailors, is introduced into French society. Graffigny was prompted to undertake the work after seeing a performance of Voltaire's ALZIRE, and relied on her reading of Garcilaso de la Vega for historical context. In fact, the cumulative result is a satirical view of French life, particularly the situation of French women, as seen by a complete outsider. The novel proved highly popular, and went through many editions, with a revised text appearing in 1752, and was the catalyst for sequels and pastiches by other hands. COHEN & DE RICCI, p.447. BRUNET II:1690.
      [Bookseller: William Reese Company - Literature, ABAA]
Last Found On: 2018-02-26           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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