(DORMAN, Joseph)

The Curiosity: or, the Gentleman and Lady's General Library. The second edition, much improved.

Published: Printed for James Hodges, at the Looking-Glass, on London-Bridge.

Date: [ 1739 ]

[4], ii, 3-201, [3]pp ads, engr. frontispiece depicting a gentleman, presumably the author, in his library, presenting a copy of 'the Curiosity' to a lady; 12mo. Contemp. mottled calf, expertly rebacked, red gilt morocco label; corners neatly repaired. Contemporary signature of Wm. Scarman at head of titlepage.

ESTC T116638. First London edition. Dedicated to the Ladies of York (‘tis wholly owing to Your Generous Favours the following Work ever made its Appearance in the World’), this provincial verse and prose anthology for women is rare. ESTC notes that it first appeared as The Female Rake in 1735, however that was a much slighter, single ballad-comedy, in much the same way as Dorman issued The Rake of Taste that same year. ‘The Curiosity …’ is a much enlarged, and rather libertine, anthology, and stands in its own right as a new work. Two York printings were published in 1738 (BL and Brotherton only), with four copies (O, York Minster, CLU-C, and CtY) of a similarly paginated and dated variant but omitting the list of subscribers and the 'female rake' from the contents list. There is also a hitherto unrecorded 1738 Manchester printing acquired in 2002 by the John Rylands Library. This opens with an Address to the Ladies of Manchester, but Dorman obviously favoured York for the opening address in this first London edition. Pieces include: The Assembly, or York Beauties; The Progress of a Female Rake; the Accomplish'd Rake; The Woman of Taste; or, the Yorkshire Lady, a Ballad Opera; The Perplex'd Coquet; A New and Accurate Translation of Basia: or, the Pleasures of Kissing.


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