A Londres: 1775. Most complete edition. This work was first published in 1761 in a one volume edition that contained two parts. Other editions appeared in 1762 and 1766, but this appears to be the first printing of the complete work, in six parts. Some staining to preliminary blanks, a little light foxing. A good, clean copy. Contemporary mottled calf. Gilt spine with red morocco label, edges stained red. Three volumes in one, twelvemo. 222, 183, [1, blank], 198 pp. Item #15547
Desboulmiers (1731-1771) was a soldier turned writer, whose exuberant style brought him immense popularity. This work is not in fact a history of famous women of his age, but a series of short novels dealing with the amatory adventures of courtesans. Desboulmiers was the author of novels, plays, a history of the comic opera (1769), and a seven-volume history of the Italian theatre (1769). He also translated Hume’s works (Pensées philosophiques, morales, critiques, littéraires et politiques de M. Hume, 1767).
OCLC lists three copies of this edition (Smith, Yale, Montreal); ESTC lists the McMaster copy, a copy at Leeds, and three copies in Poland. Cioranescu 34761. Gay/Lemonnyer, II, 615(“Ce recueil de petites histoires qui, malgré le grand nombre de ses éditions, est peu commun.”). Querard II, 496.