[CAILHAVA D’ESTENDOUX, J.-F.]. Le Pucelage nageur. Conte.
N.p.n.d. [Paris, about 1766].
Booklet 8vo of 16 pp. Engraved title. Printed on Dutch paper. Bound in green half-morocco, paper covers, spine ribbed with gilt title and fillets, gilt edges. XIXth century binding.
190 x 124 mm.
Exceedingly rare original edition of this erotic text in verse anonymously published in 1766.
Barbier, Dictionnaire des ouvrages anonymes, III, 1108 ; Cohen, 199 ; Gay, Bibliographie des ouvrages relatifs à l’amour, III, 886.
“Rare piece” (Catalogue des livres rares et précieux de M. de Pixerécourt, n°827)
“Le Pucelage nageur, an exceedningly rare curiosity in verse…” as mentioned in the Eros au secret Exhibition Catalogue (B.n.F., Paris, 2007-2008, pp. 178-179).
“A booklet much sought-after by bibliophiles” writes Adolphe Van Bever in his book Les conteurs libertins du XVIIIe siècle: recueil de pièces inédites ou rares, Paris, 1904, p. 96.
“Small licentious poem, in the kind of those written by Voisenon or Grécourt. It is of the utmost rarity”, mentions the notice of the Catalogue de la librairie ancienne Auguste Fontaine, 1878-1879, n°704.
Jean-François Cailhava d’Estandoux (1731-1813) is a French playwright, poet and critic.
“His youth was very dissipated, quite good-looking and with a pleasant and joyful character, he had a lot of success in the provinces; … but theatre quickly became the passion of his life. His first play, represented in Toulouse in 1757, got a good reception. Cailhava then left for Paris where he eventually succeeded.”
Cailhava’s main dramatic attempt is L’Egoïsme, a five acts comedy in verse played in 1777. La Harpe violently attacked his play in the Mercure review, but Cailhava stood up to the critic, even on stage, in Le Journaliste anglais. The hostility that Molé, the famous actor, had towards him was even more dangerous and prevented him from entering the Comédie-Française.
He then kept himself busy writing erudite books about dramatic art and added some licentious stories. Admitted in 1797 to the Institute, he entered the Académie Française by the time it had been reconstituted.
This little tale will be reprinted in a very small number of copies by the editor J.J. Gay in 1883 (100 copies).
Precious copy of an exceedingly rare bibliophilic curiosity.
Copies recorded among French public Institutions: Lyon, Rouen, Troyes, Montpellier and B.n.F