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[Head, Richard].  Nugae venales, sive, thesaurus ridendi & jocandi. [bound with another, see below] Disputatio perjucunda qua probare nititur mulieres homines non esse. [The Hague: I. Burchornius, 1642]. 12mo (12 cm, 4.7’’). [4], 336, 48, 44 pp.

[also bound in] Acidalius, Valens. Disputatio perjucunda qua probare nititur mulieres homines non esse. Hagae-Comitatis: I. Burchornius, 1641. 12mo. 191, [1] pp.
        The elegantly bound copy of these works from the rich library of the novelist William Beckford (1760–1844). Interestingly, Beckford owned seven editions of the Nugae — this is his => first edition — printed between 1642 and 1720. In his sale catalogue, a note attributes it to the Irish novelist Richard Head (1637–ca. 86), author of the successful The Irish Rogue, although scattered sentences in Dutch or German cast doubts; the work also had an English edition, this perhaps translated by Head. The first part is a collection of ironic, witty questions and answers on satirical topics, often concerned with women — e.g., what is a liberal woman? — as well as with curiosities (e.g., why are Ethiopians black? is begging preferable to wealth? {‘it is’}). There follow essays on unrelated topics including pseudo-medicine, with the Nugae's second part — Crepundia poetica — then being a collection of short poems on sundry subjects from doctors to astrologers. => The third part — Pugna porcorum — is => a satirical poem written solely and perhaps preposterously with words beginning with P.
        The Disputatio, here in the second collected edition after a first of 1638, is "a jeu d’esprit against the opinions of the Socinians" (Brunet). Its two parts, propounding rhetorical paradoxes, first appeared separately in 1595, when a debate broke out following the Socinian affirmation that women were animals, not humans, as Eve was not created in the image of God. Attributed to Acidalius Valens, the work => seeks satirically to prove, through numerous mainly theological sources and following Socinian logic, that women are not men; the second essay defends women as a sex.
        The title-pages offer three instances of the same handsome woodcut vignette.
        Binding: 19th-century straight-grained citron morocco, raised bands, spine gilt-extra with flowers and flourishes; inner dentelles gilt, puce endpapers, all edges gilt over marbling. Red silk bookmark present and attached.
        Provenance: William Beckford, with 19th-century note "Beckford sale 1883 lot 174" on front free endpaper verso and cutting from sale catalogue on front pastedown; red leather Durdans (Rosebery) booklabel to front pastedown and that library's small blind-stamp to first title-page and elsewhere. Later bookplate of Lawrence Strangman to front free endpaper; most recently in the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, with his small booklabel (“AHA”) at rear.

I: Wing (rev.ed.) N1462;ESTC R219402. II: Brunet II, 759 (1638 ed.). Bound as above, with significant rubbing to joints and spine especially and with discoloration especially affecting raised bands; gilt ornamentation still impressive. Short closed tear to B4 not quite reaching print, another with loss to margin just touching text on L4; age-toning, with a few leaves slightly browned. => Desirable texts in a desirable copy, with very desirable provenance.  (41315)   Please RESHELVE This.

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