Book Description

First edition. Octavo. Contemporary half green morocco over marbled boards; nine raised bands to the spine with red morocco title label lettered in gilt. Original pictorial wrapper by Fabien Fabiano bound in at the front. Illustrated with 14 colour plates, 4 black and white plates, and 15 in-text illustrations by Fabiano. 286pp. A very good copy, the binding square and tight with a few minor marks to the spine and a little rubbing to the extremities. The contents with toning due to the paper quality, the occasional faint pencil line to page margins, and some light foxing to the endpapers are otherwise in very good order. An attractive copy.
Dealer Notes
An uncommon French fin-de-siècle memoire recounting the experiences of its anonymous author - “A Curious Woman” - in her romantic encounters with the opposite sex, wonderfully illustrated by the artist, illustrator, designer, and former pupil of Alphonse Mucha, Fabian Faniano (1882-1962).
In the preface, the author explains that she has “tried in these pages to liberally say [her] sentiment on Love, to recount true histories, of which [she] thinks to draw a profitable lesson, [and] to speak of physical love with the same truth as sentimental love”. The first chapter explains her earliest encounter with love - at the age of eight - sitting in church, gazing at a chorister, who simply looked back with “une indifférence infinie”. The next “object of her cult” is the preacher himself, followed by a professor of literature whose presence made it nearly impossible to recite her lessons. Finally, at the age of thirteen, she has her first kiss, which ignites her curiosity to understand love, ultimately leading to the production of the present book, which details her subsequent infatuations and relationships as an adult. Typical chapters include: “cynicism, a means of seduction”; “the importance of hands”; “the taste of betrayal”; “most favourable positions to take to fall asleep to your advantage”; and “the Don Juans: the cavalry officer, the intellectual, and the car driver”.
An amusing rollick through turn of the century French sexuality and sensuality, which, despite outward appearances, forms not a series of lascivious vignettes, but instead provides something more introspective and curious about the power of attraction and love.
The work is sometimes attributed to the author and poet Maurice Magre (1877-1941), but it is not clear as whether this is actually the case.
Author UNE FEMME CURIEUSE; [MAGRE, Maurice, attrib.]; illustrated by FABIANO, Fabien:
Date 1910
Publisher Paris: Société d’Édition et de Publications Librairie Félix Juven.

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