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Two "distinctly theatrical texts" by the most celebrated actress of the commedia dell'arte

Andreini Isabella (1562-1604)
Lettere della signora Isabella Andreini. Aggiuntoui di nuouo li ragionamenti piaceuoli dell'istessa. Di nuouo ristampate, & con ogni diligenza ricorrette [With:] Fragmenti di alcune scritture della signora Isabella Andreini, raccolti da Francesco Andreini, e dati in luce da Flamminio Scala.

Venice: Appresso Gio. Battista Combi, 1620

$6,800.00

Octavo: 15.5 x 10.5 cm. Two parts in 1 volume: I. [24], 268 pp., 2 blank lvs.; II. 180 pp.

The first edition of Isabella Andreini's collection of letters appeared in 1607, four years after the author's death, edited by her husband, Francesco. In 1617, with the assistance of Flaminio Scala, Francesco published the "Fragmenti". For a discussion of both works, see below.

"Born in Padua to Venetian parents in 1562, Isabella Andreini (née Canali) would become the most celebrated commedia dell'arte actress of her century by the time of her death in 1604.

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Graesse I, 121; Piantanida 3319

The First Edition of Tullia d’Aragona’s Poetry. Including Her Love Poems

Aragona, Tullia d' (c. 1510–1556)
Rime della Signora Tullia di Aragona; et di diversi a lei.

Venice: Appresso Gabriel Giolito de Ferrari, 1547

$5,700.00

Octavo: 14.5 x 10 cm. [80] p. A-E8

"With Vittoria Colonna’s disappearance in 1547, the world of Italian publishing was bereft of its figurehead female author, and the search for a successor appears to have been intense. The first secular poetic collection by a woman other than Colonna to be published was brought out by Gabriele Giolito in Venice, under the title Rime della signora Tullia di Aragona; et di diversi a lei(1547).

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Brunet I, 373: "assez rare"; Salvatore Bongi, “Annali di Gabriel Giolito de' Ferrari da Trino di Monferrato stampatore in Venezia.” (Roma: 1890-95) p. 150 ff. (with a long essay on Aragona)

A Bound Collection of 17th c. English Plays

Behn, Aphra (1640-1689); Dryden, John (1631-1700); Shakespeare, William (1564-1616); Davenant [D'Avenant], Sir William (1606–1668), et al.
A collection of 10 17th c. quarto plays, including 3 by Aphra Behn, the first edition of Dryden and D'Avenant's adaptation of Shakespeare's "The Tempest", and George Villiers' satire on Dryden and contemporary drama, "The Rehearsal."

London: various printers, various dates: 1670- 1688

$22,000.00

Quarto: 21.5 x 15.5 cm. 10 works bound as one. (See below for individual collations and descriptions.)

Contents:

1. Dryden, John (1631-1700) 

Marriage A-la-Mode.

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With Verses by Aphra Behn. A Fantastic, Large-Paper Copy

Behn, Aphra (1640-89); Aesop (ca. 620-564 B.C.); Barlow, Francis (1626?-1702)
Aesop’s fables with his life: in English, French and Latin. Newly translated. Illustrated with one hundred and twelve sculptures. To this edition are likewise added, thirty one new figures representing his life. By Francis Barlow.

London: Printed by H. Hills jun. for Francis Barlow, and are to be sold by Chr. Wilkinson at the Black-boy against St. Dunstan’s Church in Fleet-street, Tho. Fox in Westminster-hall, and Henry Faithorne at the Rose in St. Paul’s Church-yard, 1687

$28,000.00

Folio: 36.3 x 22.8 cm. [8], 40; 40; 17, 2-221, [3] p. COLLATION: π1(printed title), a2, B-L2; B-L2, B-Z2, Aa-Zz2, Aaa-Ppp2.

For this second edition of his magnificent production, Barlow commissioned Aphra Behn, then at the height of her popularity as a playwright and poet, to write verses to be engraved on the 110 plates illustrating the fables. In order to substitute Behn’s verses for those of Thomas Philipot (d. 1682), the lower area of the plate needed to be burnished down and the new verses engraved onto the plate in place of the earlier ones.

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Wing (CD-ROM, 1996), A703

The Scandalous Life of Elizabeth Chudleigh

Chudleigh, Elizabeth (c. 1720-1788)
An Authentic Detail of Particulars relative to the Late Duchess of Kingston.

London: Printed for G. Kearsley, at Johnson’s Head, No. 46, Fleet-Street, 1788

$3,800.00

Octavo: 21 x 13 cm. pp. [ii], ii, 178, [18]. Collation: [A]2, B-Z4, A1. With an added engraved frontispiece of the Duchess, with breasts exposed "as she appeared at the Venetian Ambassador

Duchess of Kingston, granddaughter of the poet Mary Chudleigh (1656-1710), from whom “she seemed to have inherited no notable literary tastes or talents”(Rizzo) Elizabeth was notorious for her sexual escapades, daring, and profligacy. She studiously cultivated this image, referring to herself (in the third person) thus: “She was both wasteful and penurious; the most enormous sums were expended to gratify her love of display, at the same time that she refused to incur some trifling necessary expense in her household….

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ESTC T92902

The First Edition. A Fine Copy in a Contemporary Binding

Chudleigh, Mary Lee, Lady (bap. 1656- d. 1710)
Poems on several occasions. Together with The song of the three children paraphras’d. By the Lady Chudleigh

London: printed by W[illiam]. B[owyer]. for Bernard Lintott at the Middle Temple Gate in Fleetstreet, 1703

$15,000.00

Octavo: 19.5 x 12 cm. [16], 125, [17], 73, [1] pp. Collation: A-O8, P4

Mary Chudleigh was a friend of Elizabeth Thomas and an admirer of Mary Astell, with whom she corresponded and whose ‘Defence of the Female Sex’ she tried to emulate. Dedicated to Queen Anne, her ‘Poems on Several Occasions’ was widely noticed, achieving a second edition in 1709. The poems include a wide range of subjects, from lyrics and satires of the age of Dryden, to philosophical and more contemplative verse in keeping with the solitary and often melancholy life that she led in Devon.

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Foxon p. 121; ESTC t97275; Maslen and Lancaster, Bowyer ledgers, D36

The Poems of Vittoria Colonna - The Best Edition

Colonna, Vittoria (1492-1547)
Le rime spirituali della illustrissima signora Vittoria Colonna Marchesana di Pescara. Alle quali di nuouo sono stati aggiunti, oltre quelli non pur dell’altrui stampe, ma ancho della nostra medesima, piu di trenta, ò trentatre Sonetti, no mai piu altroue stampati; un capitolo; et in non pochi luoghi ricorrette, et piu chiaramente distinte

Venice: Vincenzo Valgrisi, 1548

$5,500.00

Quarto: 20 x 15 cm. 120 pp. Collation: A-P4.

The first edition of Colonna's Rime had been printed in Parma by Viotto in 1538 and presented 145 poems of which 9 by other authors. The first Valgrisi edition (the first in 4to format and the first with the title Rime spirituali) had appeared in 1546 and included 180 poems. The important later edition edited by Rinaldo Corso in 1558 has only 158 poems.

The poetic production of Vittoria Colonna comprises two main characters: one profane, which consists of Petrarchan poems celebrating the love for her husband, the Marquis of Pescara Francesco D'Avalos, whom she married in 1509 and who died in battle in 1525; and one sacred, in which the personal pain for the loss of her husband is transfigured and becomes more and more universal up to a point in which it coincides with the pain of Christ on the cross.

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M. Bandini Buti, Poetesse e scrittrici, Rome, 1941, I, pp. 164-171; Gamba, no. 1325 (“più copiosa e meno scorretta”); Edit 16, CNCE12833; A. Erdmann, My Gracious Silence, Lucerne, 1999, p. 211.

First Edition of Queen Elizabeth’s Visitation Articles

ELIZABETH I, Queen of England (1533-1603)
Articles to be enquyred in the visitation, in the fyrst yeare of the raygne of our moost drad soueraygne Lady, Elizabeth by the grace of God, of Englande Fraunce, and Irelande, Quene, defender of the fayth. &c. Anno 1559

London: Imprinted… in Povles Churcheyarde by Richard Iugge and Iohn Cavvood, Printers to the Quenes Maiestie, 1559

$22,000.00

Quarto: 18 x 13 cm. [14] pp. Collation: A-B4 (lacking blank leaf B4)

With the signature of the 16th c. book collector Humphrey Dyson (1582-1633) at the foot of the title page. The bookplate of Albert Ehrman, with his motto “Pro Viribus Summis Contendo” is affixed to the front pastedown. This was lot 270 in the 1978 sale of Ehrman’s library. Very rare. ESTC locates 4 copies in the U.S.: Folger, Huntington, Harvard, Yale.

First edition of the first visitation articles established for the reformed church after Elizabeth’s accession.

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STC 10118