A discussion of interesting books from my current stock at

Updated! A Dozen Early Modern Books by Women

Author INDEX

  1. J.B. 346J

  2. Mary Barber 377J

  3. Mary Barber 373J

  4. Madam De Bellefont 572G

  5. Susanna Centlivre 347J

  6. Susanna Centlivre 357J

  7.  Jeanne Marie Bouvier de La Motte Guyon 348J

  8. [Martha Hatfield].362J

  9. Mary De La Riviere Manley 122F

  10. Katherine Philips 103G

  11. Mary Pix  376J

  12. Madam Scuddery 296J

  13. Madeleine Vigneron 323


  1.  346J J.B. Gent.

The young lovers guide,

DSCN0031 or, The unsuccessful amours of Philabius, a country lover; set forth in several kind epistles, writ by him to his beautious-unkind mistress. Teaching lover
s how to comport themselves with resignation in their love-disasters. With The answer of Helena to Paris, by a country shepherdess. As also, The sixth Æneid and fourth eclogue of Virgil, both newly translated by J.B. Gent. (?)

London : Printed and are to be Sold by the Booksellers of London, 1699.             $3,500

Octavo,  A4, B-G8,H6 I2( lacking 3&’4) (A1, frontispiece Present;            I3&’4, advertisements  lacking )    inches  [8], 116, [4] p. : The frontispiece is signed: M· Vander Gucht. scul:. 1660-1725,

This copy is bound in original paneled sheep with spine cracking but cords holding Strong.

A very rare slyly misogynistic “guide’ for what turns out be emotional turmoil and Love-Disasters

Writ by Philabius to Venus, his Planetary Ascendant.

Dear Mother Venus!

I must style you so.
From you descended, tho’ unhappy Beau.
You are my Astral Mother; at my birth
Your pow’rful Influence bore the sway on Earth
From my Ascendent: being sprung from you,
I hop’d Success where-ever I should woo.
Your Pow’r in Heav’n and Earth prevails, shall I,
A Son of yours, by you forsaken die?
Twenty long Months now I have lov’d a Fair,
And all my Courtship’s ending in Despair.
All Earthly Beauties, scatter’d here and there,
From you, their Source, derive the Charms they bear.

Wing (2nd ed.), B131; Arber’s Term cat.; III 142

Copies – Brit.Isles  :  British Library
                  Cambridge University St. John’s College
                  Oxford University, Bodleian Library
Copies – N.America :  Folger Shakespeare
                  Harvard Houghton Library
                  Henry E. Huntington
                  UCLA, Clark Memorial Library
                  University of Illinois
Engraved frontispiece of the Mistress holding a fan,”Bold Poets and rash Painters may aspire With pen and pencill to describe my Faire, Alas; their arts in the performance fayle, And reach not that divine Original, Some Shadd’wy glimpse they may present to view, And this is all poore humane art Can doe▪”  title within double rule border, 4-pages of publisher`s  advertisements at the end Contemporary calf (worn). . FIRST EDITION. . The author remains unknown.


 An early Irish female author

2) 377[ BARBER, Mary].1685-1755≠

A true tale To be added to Mr. Gay’s fables.

Dublin. Printed by S. Powell, for George Ewing, at the Angel and Bible in Dame’-street, 1727.

First edition, variant imprint..[LinkEstc version : Dublin : printed by S.[i.e. Sarah] Harding, next door to the sign of the Crown in Copper-Alley, [ca. 1727-1728]  7pp, [1]. Not in ESTC or Foxon; c/f N491542 and N13607.                         $4,500

IMG_2094                [Bound after:]

John GAY

Fables. Invented for the Amusement of His Highness William Duke of Cumberland.

London Printed, and Dublin Reprinted for G. Risk, G. Ewing, and W. Smith, in Dame’s-street, 1727.  

IMG_2095First Irish edition. [8], 109pp, [3]. With three terminal pages of advertisements.             ESTC T13819, Foxon p.295.

8vo in 4s and 8s. Contemporary speckled calf, contrasting red morocco lettering- piece, gilt. Rubbed to extremities, some chipping to head and foot of spine and cracking to joints, bumping to corners. Occasional marking, some closed tears. Early ink inscription of ‘William Crose, Clithero’ to FEP, further inked-over inscription to head of title.

Mary Barber (1685-1755) claimed that she wrote “chiefly to form the Minds of my Children,” but her often satirical and comic verses suggest that she sought an adult audience as well. The wife of a clothier and mother of four children, she lived in Dublin and enjoyed the patronage of Jonathan Swift. While marriage, motherhood, friendship, education, and other domestic issues are her central themes, they frequently lead her to broader, biting social commentary.

Bound behind this copy of the first edition of the first series of English poet John Gay’s (1685-1732) famed Fables, composed for the youngest son of George II, six-year-old Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, is Irish poet Mary Barber’s (c.1685-c.1755) rare verse appeal to secure a Royal pension for Gay, who had lost his fortune in bursting of the South Sea Bubble.

Barber, the wife of a Dublin woollen draper, was an untutored poet whom Jonathan Swift sponsored, publicly applauded, and cultivated as part of his ‘triumfeminate’ of bluestockings. She wrote initially to educate the children in her large family. Indeed this poem, the fifth of her published works, features imagined dialogue of a son to his mother, designed to encourage, specifically, the patronage of Queen Caroline:

‘Mamma, if you were Queen, says he, And such a Book were writ for me;
I find, ’tis so much to your Taste,
That Gay wou’d keep his Coach at least’

And of a mother to her son:

‘My Child, What you suppose is true: I see its Excellence in You.                                          Poets, who write to mend the Mind, A Royal Recompence shou’d find.’

ESTC locates two variant Dublin editions, both rare, but neither matching this copy: a first with the title and pagination as here, but with the undated imprint of S. Harding (represented by a single copy at Harvard), and a second with the imprint as here, but with a different title, A tale being an addition to Mr. Gay’s fables, and a pagination of 8pp (represented by copies at the NLI, Oxford, Harvard and Yale). This would appear to be a second variant, and we can find no copies in any of the usual databases.

Mary Barber was an Irish poet who mostly focussed on domestic themes such as marriage and children although the messages in some of her poems suggested a widening of her interests, often making cynical comments on social injustice.  She was a member of fellow Irish poet Jonathan Swift’s favoured circle of writers, known as his “triumfeminate”, a select group that also included Mrs E Sican and Constantia Grierson.

She was born sometime around the year 1685 in Dublin but nothing much is known about her education or upbringing.  She married a much younger man by the name of Rupert Barber and they had nine children together, although only four survived childhood.  She was writing poetry initially for the benefit and education of her children but, by 1725, she had The Widow’s Address published and this was seen as an appeal on behalf of an Army officer’s widow against the social and financial difficulties that such women were facing all the time.  Rather than being a simple tale for younger readers here was a biting piece of social commentary, aimed at a seemingly uncaring government.

During the 18th and early 19th centuries it was uncommon for women to become famous writers and yet Barber seemed to possess a “natural genius” where poetry was concerned which was all the more remarkable since she had no formal literary tuition to fall back on.  The famous writer Jonathan Swift offered her patronage, recognising a special talent instantly.  Indeed, he called her “the best Poetess of both Kingdoms” although his enthusiasm was not necessarily shared by literary critics of the time.  It most certainly benefitted her having the support of fellow writers such as Elizabeth Rowe and Mary Delany, and Swift encouraged her to publish a collection in 1734 called Poems on several occasions.  The book sold well, mostly by subscription to eminent persons in society and government.  The quality of the writing astonished many who wondered how such a simple, sometimes “ailing Irish housewife” could have produced such work.

It took some time for Barber to attain financial stability though and her patron Swift was very much involved in her success.  She could have lost his support though because, in a desperate attempt to achieve wider recognition, she wrote letters to many important people, including royalty, with Swift’s signature forged at the end.  When he found out about this indiscretion he was not best pleased but he forgave her anyway.

Unfortunately poor health prevented much more coming from her pen during her later years.  For over twenty years she suffered from gout and, in fact, wrote poems about the subject for a publication called the Gentleman’s Magazine.  It is worth including here an extract from her poem Written for my son, at his first putting on of breeches.  It is, in some ways, an apology and an explanation to a child enduring the putting on of an uncomfortable garment for the first time.  She suggests in fact that many men have suffered from gout because of the requirement to wear breeches.  The first verse of the poem is reproduced here:

Many of her poems were in the form of letters written to distinguished people, such as To The Right Honourable The Lady Sarah Cowper and To The Right Honourable The Lady Elizabeth Boyle On Her Birthday.  These, and many more, were published in her 1755 collection Poems by Eminent Ladies.  History sees her, unfortunately, as a mother writing to support her children rather than a great poet, and little lasting value has been attributed to her work.


3) 379J   BARBER, Mary 1685-1755≠

Poems on Several Occasions

London: printed [by Samuel Richardson] for C. Rivington, at the Bible and Crown in St. Paul’s Church-Yard 1735                            $4,500


imageFirst octavo edition, 1735, bound in early paper boards with later paper spine and printed spine label, pp. lxiv, 290, (14) index, title with repaired tear, very good. These poems were published the previous year in a quarto edition with a list of influential subscribers (reprinted here); this octavo edition is less common. Barber was the wife of a Dublin clothier and her publication in England was helped by Jonathan Swift, who has (along with the authoress) provided a dedication in this volume to the Earl of Orrery. Constantia Grierson, another Irish poetess, contributes a prefatory poem in praise of Mary Barber.


ESTC Citation No. T42623 ; Maslen, K. Samuel Richardson, 21.; Foxon, p.45. ;Teerink-Scouten [Swift] 747.








4). 572G Léonore Gigault de,; O.S.B. Bellefont (Bouhours)

Les OEuvres spirituelles de Madame De Bellefont, religieuse, fondatrice & superieure du convent de Nôtre-Dame des Anges, de l’Ordre de Saint Benoist, à Roüen.Dediées à Madame La Dauphine.

DSC_0029A Paris : Chez Helie Josset, ruë S. Jacques, au coin de la ruë de la Parcheminerie, à la fleur de lys d’or, 1688                          $2200

Octavo 6.25 x 3.6 in. a4, e8, i8, o2, A-Z8; Aa-Qq8 ; *8, **4. This copy is very clean and crisp it is bound in contemporary calf with ornately gilt spine. La vie de Madame de Bellefont”, on unnumbered pages preceding numbered text./ “Table des chapitres . . .” and “Stances” and “Paraphrases” in verse on final 24 numbered pages./ In the “Avant propos” this work is ascribed to “feüe madame Lêonore Gigault de Bellefont”, but most authorities credit Laurence Gigault de Bellefont with authorship See Sommervogel I 1908 #25



5) 374J [ Susanna CENTLIVRE,]. 1667-1723

The gamester: A Comedy…

London. Printed for William Turner, 1705.                           $4,000

IMG_2102Quarto. [6], 70pp, [2]. First edition.Without half-title. Later half-vellum, marbled boards, contrasting black morocco lettering-piece. Extremities lightly rubbed and discoloured. Browned, some marginal worming, occasional shaving to running titles.


The first edition of playwright and actress Susanna Centlivre’s (bap. 1667?, d. 1723) convoluted gambling comedy, adapted from French dramatist Jean Francois Regnard’s (1655-1709) Le Jouer (1696). The Gamester met with tremendous success and firmly established Centlivre as a part the pantheon of celebrated seventeenth-century playwrights, yet the professional life of the female dramatist remained complicated, with many of her works, as here, being published anonymously and accompanied by a prologue implying a male author.


CENTLIVRE, English dramatic writer and actress, was born about 1667, probably in Ireland, where her father, a Lincolnshire gentleman named Freeman, had been forced to flee at the Restoration on account of his political sympathies. When sixteen she married the nephew of Sir Stephen Fox, and on his death within a year she married an officer named Carroll, who was killed in a duel. Left in poverty, she began to support herself, writing for the stage, and some of her early plays are signed S. Carroll. In 1706 she married Joseph Centlivre, chief cook to Queen Anne, who survived her.

ESTC T26860.



An early Irish female author


Political satire by An early Irish female author

6) 375J.  Sussana Centlivre

The Gotham Election, A farce.

(London 🙂 printed and sold by S. Keimer,1715. $ 1,900


The Gotham Election, one of the first satires to tackle electioneering and bribery in eighteenth century British politics. It proved to be so controversial that, despite Centlivre’s popularity as a playwright, it was supressed from being performed during the turbulent year of 1715.
Centlivre was renowned as one of the greatest female playwrights of her day, and her plays, predominately comedies, were responsible for the development of the careers of actors such as David Garrick. However, despite her popularity, she also made enemies in the literary world of the early-eighteenth century. Most notably Alexander Pope, who, in his Dunciad, referred to her as a ‘slip-shod Muse’, possibly in reference to her participation in the work The Nine Muses, which was published in 1700 to commemorate the death of John Dryden.

English Short Title Catalog, ESTCT26854



A collection of Poems and Letters by Christian mystic and prolific writer, Jeanne-Marie Guyon published in Dublin.

7) 348J    François de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon 1651-1715  & Josiah Martin 1683-1747 & Jeanne Marie Bouvier de La Motte Guyon 1648-1717

A dissertation on pure love, by the Arch-Bishop of Cambray. With an account of the life and writings of the Lady, for whose sake The Archbishop was banish’d from Court: And the grievous Persecution she suffer’d in France for her Religion.  Also Two Letters in French and English, written by one of the Lady’s Maids, during her Confinement in the Castle of Vincennes, where she was Prisoner Eight Years. One of the Letters was writ with a Bit of Stick instead of a Pen, and Soot instead of Ink, to her Brother; the other to a Clergyman. Together with an apologetic preface. Containing divers letters of the Archbishop of Cambray, to the Duke of Burgundy, the present French King’s Father, and other Persons of Distinction. And divers letters of the lady to Persons of Quality, relating to her Religious Principles

Dublin : printed by Isaac Jackson, in Meath-Street, [1739].    $ 4,000


Octavo  7 3/4  x 5  inches       First and only English edition. Bound in Original sheep, with a quite primitive repair to the front board.


Fenélon’s text appears to consist largely of extracts from ’Les oeuvres spirituelles’. The preface, account of Jeanne Marie Guyon etc. is compiled by Josiah Martin. The text of the letters, and poems, is in French and English. This is an Astonishing collection of letters and poems.

“JOSIAH MARTIN,  (1683–1747), quaker, was born near London in 1683. He became a good classical scholar, and is spoken of by Gough, the translator of Madame Guyon’s Life, 1772, as a man whose memory is esteemed for ‘learning, humility, and fervent piety.’ He died unmarried, 18 Dec. 1747, in the parish of St. Andrew’s, Holborn, and was buried in the Friends’ burial-ground, Bunhill Fields. He left the proceeds of his library of four thousand volumes to be divided among nephews and nieces. Joseph Besse [q. v.] was his executor.

Martin’s name is best known in connection with ‘A Letter from one of the People called Quakers to Francis de Voltaire, occasioned by his Remarks on that People in his Letters concerning the English Nation,’ London, 1741. It was twice reprinted, London and Dublin, and translated into French. It is a temperate and scholarly treatise, and was in much favour at the time.

Of his other works the chief are: 1. ‘A Vindication of Women’s Preaching, as well from Holy Scripture and Antient Writings as from the Paraphrase and Notes of the Judicious John Locke, wherein the Observations of B[enjamin] C[oole] on the said Paraphrase . . . and the Arguments in his Book entitled “Reflections,” &c, are fullv considered,’ London, 1717. 2. ‘The Great Case of Tithes truly stated … by Anthony Pearson [q. v.] . . . to which is added a Defence of some other Principles held by the People call’d Quakers . . .,’ London, 1730. 3. ‘A Letter concerning the Origin, Reason, and Foundation of the Law of Tithes in England,’ 1732. He also edited, with an ‘Apologetic Preface,’ comprising more than half the book, and containing many additional letters from Fénelon and Madame Guyon, ‘The Archbishop of Cambray’s Dissertation on Pure Love, with an Account of the Life and Writings of the Lady for whose sake he was banish’d from Court,’ London, 1735.

[Joseph Smith’s Catalogue of Friends’ Books; works quoted above; Life of Madame Guyon, Bristol, 1772, pt. i. errata; registers at Devonshire House; will P.C.C. 58 Strahan, at Somerset House.]

C. F. S.


Fénelon was nominated in February, 1696, Fénelon was consecrated in August of the same year by Bossuet in the chapel of Saint-Cyr. The future of the young prelate looked brilliant, when he fell into deep disgrace.

The cause of Fénelon’s trouble was his connection with Madame Guyon, whom he had met in the society of his friends, the Beauvilliers and the Chevreuses. She was a native of Orléans, which she left when about twenty-eight years old, a widowed mother of three children, to carry on a sort of apostolate of mysticism, under the direction of Père Lacombe, a Barnabite. After many journeys to Geneva, and through Provence and Italy, she set forth her ideas in two works, “Le moyen court et facile de faire oraison” and “Les torrents spirituels”. In exaggerated language characteristic of her visionary mind, she presented a system too evidently founded on the Quietism of Molinos, that had just been condemned by Innocent XI in 1687. There were, however, great divergencies between the two systems. Whereas Molinos made man’s earthly perfection consist in a state of uninterrupted contemplation and love, which would dispense the soul from all active virtue and reduce it to absolute inaction, Madame Guyon rejected with horror the dangerous conclusions of Molinos as to the cessation of the necessity of offering positive resistance to temptation. Indeed, in all her relations with Père Lacombe, as well as with DSCN0015Fénelon, her virtuous life was never called in doubt. Soon after her arrival in Paris she became acquainted with many pious persons of the court and in the city, among them Madame de Maintenon and the Ducs de Beauvilliers and Chevreuse, who introduced her to Fénelon. In turn, he was attracted by her piety, her lofty spirituality, the charm of her personality, and of her books. It was not long, however, before the Bishop of Chartres, in whose diocese Saint-Cyr was, began to unsettle the mind of Madame de Maintenon by questioning the orthodoxy of Madame Guyon’s theories. The latter, thereupon, begged to have her works submitted to an ecclesiastical commission composed of Bossuet, de Noailles, who was then Bishop of Châlons, later Archbishop of Paris, and M. Tronson; superior of-Saint-Sulpice. After an examination which lasted six months, the commission delivered its verdict in thirty-four articles known as the “Articles d’ Issy”, from the place near Paris where the commission sat. These articles, which were signed by Fénelon and the Bishop of Chartres, also by the members of the commission, condemned very briefly Madame Guyon’s ideas, and gave a short exposition of the Catholic teaching on prayer. Madame Guyon submitted to the condemnation, but her teaching spread in England, and Protestants, who have had her books reprinted have always expressed sympathy with her views. Cowper translated some of her hymns into English verse; and her autobiography was translated into English by Thomas Digby (London, 1805) and Thomas Upam (New York, 1848). Her books have been long forgotten in France.

Jeanne Marie Guyon

b. 1648, Montargis, France; d. 1717, Blois, France

A Christian mystic and prolific writer, Jeanne-Marie Guyon advocated a form of spirituality that led to conflict with authorities and incarceration. She was raised in a convent, then married off to a wealthy older man at the age of sixteen. When her husband died in 1676, she embarked on an evangelical mission to convert Protestants to her brand of spirituality, a mild form of quietism, which propounded the notion that through complete passivity (quiet) of the soul, one could become an agent of the divine. Guyon traveled to Geneva, Turin, and Grenoble with her mentor, Friar François Lacombe, at the same time producing several manuscripts: Les torrents spirituels (Spiritual Torrents); an 8,000-page commentary on the Bible; and her most important work, the Moyen court et très facile de faire oraison (The Short and Very Easy Method of Prayer, 1685). Her activities aroused suspicion; she was arrested in 1688 and committed to the convent of the Visitation in Paris, where she began writing an autobiography. Released within a few months, she continued proselytizing, meanwhile attracting several male disciples. In 1695, the Catholic church declared quietism heretical, and Guyon was locked up in the Bastille until 1703. Upon her release, she retired to her son’s estate in Blois. Her writings were published in forty-five volumes from 1712 to 1720.

Her writings began to be published in Holland in 1704, and brought her new admirers. Englishmen and Germans–among them Wettstein and Lord Forbes–visited her at Blois. Through them Madame Guyon’s doctrines became known among Protestants and in that soil took vigorous root. But she did not live to see this unlooked-for diffusion of her DSCN0010writings. She passed away at Blois, at the age of sixty-eight, protesting in her will that she died submissive to the Catholic Church, from which she had never had any intention of separating herself. Her doctrines, like her life, have nevertheless given rise to the widest divergences of opinion. Her published works (the “Moyen court” and the “Règles des assocées à l’Enfance de Jésus”) having been placed on the Index in 1688, and Fénelon’s “Maximes des saints” branded with the condemnation of both the pope and the bishops of France, the Church has thus plainly reprobated Madame Guyon’s doctrines, a reprobation which the extravagance of her language would in itself sufficiently justify. Her strange conduct brought upon her severe censures, in which she could see only manifestations of spite. Evidently, she too often fell short of due reserve and prudence; but after all that can be said in this sense, it must be acknowledged that her morality appears to have given no grounds for serious reproach. Bossuet, who was never indulgent in her regard, could say before the full assembly of the French clergy: “As to the abominations which have been held to be the result of her principles, there was never any question of the horror she testified for them.” It is remarkable, too, that her disciples at the Court of Louis XIV were always persons of great piety and of exemplary life.

On the other hand, Madame Guyon’s warmest partisans after her death were to be found among the Protestants. It was a Dutch Protestant, the pastor Poiret, who began the publication of her works; a Vaudois pietist pastor, Duthoit-Mambrini, continued it. Her “Life” was translated into English and German, and her ideas, long since forgotten in France, have for generations been in favour in Germany, Switzerland, England, and among Methodists in America. ”


P.144 misnumbered 134. Price from imprint: price a British Half-Crown.  Dissertain 16p and Directions for a holy life 5p. DNB includes this in Martin’s works

Copies – Brit.Isles.  :                                                                                                                                                          British Library,                                                                                                                                                                    Dublin City Library,                                                                                                                                                      National Library of Ireland                                                                                                                                              Trinity College Library
Copies – N.America. :                                                                                                                                                           Bates College,                                                                                                                                                                     Harvard University,                                                                                                                                                                            Haverford Col ,                                                                                                                                                                   Library Company of Philadelphia,                                                                                                                        Newberry,                                                                                                                                                                         Pittsburgh Theological                                                                                                                                               Princeton University,                                                                                                                                                   University of Illinois                                                                                                                                                     University of Toronto, Library


8) 362J James FISHER and [Martha HATFIELD].

The wise virgin: or, A wonderfull narration of the various dispensations of God towards a childe of eleven years of age; wherein as his severity hath appeared in afflicting, so also his goodness both in enabling her (when stricken dumb, deaf, and blind, through the prevalency of her disease) at several times to utter many glorious truths concerning Christ, faith, and other subjects; and also in recovering her without the use of any external means, lest the glory should be given to any other. To the wonderment of many that came far and neer to see and hear her. With some observations in the fourth year since her recovery. She is the daughter of Mr. Anthony Hatfield gentleman, in Laughton in York-shire; her name is Martha Hatfield. The third edition enlarged, with some passages of her gracious conversation now in the time of health. By James Fisher, servant of Christ, and minister of the Gospel in Sheffield.


LONDON: Printed for John Rothwell, at the Fountain, in Cheap-side. 1656
Octavo, 143 x 97 x 23 mm (binding), 139 x 94 x 18 mm (text block). A-M8, N3. Lacks A1, blank or portrait? [26], 170 pp. Bound in contemporary calf, upper board reattached, somewhat later marbled and blank ends. Leather rubbed with minor loss to extremities. Interior: Title stained, leaves soiled, gathering N browned, long vertical tear to E2 without loss, tail fore-corner of F8 torn away, with loss of a letter, side notes of B2v trimmed.
This is a remarkable survival of the third edition of the popular interregnum account of Sheffield Presbyterian minister James Fisher’s 11-year-old niece Martha Hatfield’s prophetic dialogues following her recovery from a devastating catalepsy that had left her “dumb, deaf, and blind.” Mar tha’s disease, which defies modern retro-diagnostics, was at the time characterized as “spleenwinde,” a term even the Oxford English Dictionary has overlooked.
Her sufferings were as variable as they were extraordinary the young girl at one point endured a 17-day fugue state during which her eyes remained open and fixed and she gnashed her teeth to the breaking point. In counterpoise to the horrors of her infirmity, her utterances in periods of remission and upon recovery were of great purity and sweetness; it is this stark contrast that was, and is, the persistent allure of this little book. The Wise Virgin appeared five times between 1653 and 1665; some editions have a portrait frontispiece, and it is entirely possible that the present third edition should have one at A1v, though the copy scanned by Early English Books Online does not. Copies located at Yale, and at Oxford (from which the EEBO copy was made). ONLY
Wing F1006.



9) 103gPhilips, Katherine.1631-1664

Letters from Orinda to Poliarchus

 London: printed by W.B. for Bernard Lintott, 1705                       $5,500

Octavo,6.75 X 3.75 inches.  First edition A-R8  Bound in original calf totally un-restored a very nice original condition copy with only some browning, spotting and damp staining, It is a very good copy.

It is housed in a custom Box.

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10) 376J Mary Pix 1666-1720

The conquest of Spain: a tragedy. As it is Acted by Her Majesty’s Servants at the Queen’s Theatre In the Hay-Market 

London : printed for Richard Wellington, at the Dolphin and Crown in St. Paul’s Church-Yard, 1705.      $4,500

Quarto [A]-K4.   First Edition . (Anonymous. By Mary Pix. Adapted from “All’s lost by lust”, by William Rowley)

Version 2Inspired by Aphra Behn, Mary Pix was among the most popular playwrights on the 17th-century theatre circuit, but fell out of fashion. 

“It is so rare to find a play from that period that’s powered by a funny female protagonist. I was immensely surprised by the brilliance of the writing. It is witty and forthright. Pix was writing plays that not only had more women in the cast than men but women who were managing their destinies.”

Pix was born in 1666, the year of the Great Fire of London, and grew up in the culturally rich time of Charles II. With the prolific Aphra Behn (1640-1689) as her role model, Pix burst on to the London theatre and literary scene in 1696 with two plays – one a tragedy: Ibrahim, the Thirteenth Emperor of the Turks, the other a farce – The Spanish Wives. Pix also wrote a novel – The Inhuman Cardinal.

Her subsequent plays, mostly comedies, became a staple in the repertory of Thomas Betterton’s company Duke’s at Lincoln’s Inn Fields and later at the Queen’s Theatre. She wrote primarily for particular actors, such as Elizabeth Barry and Anne Bracegirdle, who were hugely popular and encouraged a whole generation of women writers.

In a patriarchal world dominated by self-important men, making a mark as a woman was an uphill struggle. “There was resistance to all achieving women in the 18th century, a lot of huffing and puffing by overbearing male chauvinists,” says Bush-Bailey.

“Luckily for Pix and the other women playwrights of that time, the leading actresses were powerful and influential. I think it was they who mentored people such as Pix and Congreve.”

Davies believes the women playwrights of the 1700s – Susanna Centlivre, Catherine Trotter Cockburn, Delarivier Manley and Hannah Cowley – “unquestionably” held their own against the men who would put them down. “What’s difficult is that they were attacked for daring to write plays at all,” she says.

One of the most blatant examples of male hostility came in the form of an anonymously written parody entitled The Female Wits in 1696, in which Mary Pix was caricatured as “Mrs Wellfed, a fat female author, a sociable, well-natur’d companion that will not suffer martyrdom rather than take off three bumpers [alcoholic drinks] in a hand”.

While Pix’s sociability and taste for good food and wine was common knowledge, she was known to be a universally popular member of the London literary and theatrical circuit.

“The Female Wits was probably written, with malice, by George Powell of the Drury Lane Company,” says Bush-Bailey. “It was a cheap, satirical jibe at the successful women playwrights of the time, making out they were all bitching behind each others’ backs. So far as one can tell, it was just spiteful and scurrilous.”

Mary Pix (1666 – 17 May 1709) was an English novelist and playwright. As an admirer of Aphra Behn and colleague of Susanna Centlivre, Pix has been called “a link between women writers of the Restoration and Augustan periods”.

The Dramatis personae from a 1699 edition of Pix’s The False Friend.

Mary Griffith Pix was born in 1666, the daughter of a rector, musician and Headmaster of the Royal Latin School, Buckingham, Buckinghamshire; her father, Roger Griffith, died when she was very young, but Mary and her mother continued to live in the schoolhouse after his death. She was courted by her father’s successor Thomas Dalby, but he left with the outbreak of smallpox in town, just one year after the mysterious fire that burned the schoolhouse. Rumour had it that Mary and Dalby had been making love rather energetically and overturned a candle which set fire to the bedroom.

In 1684, at the age of 18, Mary Griffith married George Pix (a merchant tailor from Hawkhurst, Kent). The couple moved to his country estate in Kent. Her first son, George (b. 1689), died very young in 1690.[3] The next year the couple moved to London and she gave birth to another son, William (b. 1691).

In 1696, when Pix was thirty years old, she first emerged as a professional writer, publishing The Inhumane Cardinal; or, Innocence Betrayed, her first and only novel, as well as two plays, Ibrahim, the Thirteenth Emperour of the Turks and The Spanish Wives.

Though from quite different backgrounds, Pix quickly became associated with two other playwrights who emerged in the same year: Delariviere Manley and Catherine Trotter. The three female playwrights attained enough public success that they were criticised in the form of an anonymous satirical play The Female Wits (1696). Mary Pix appears as “Mrs. Wellfed one that represents a fat, female author. A good rather sociable, well-matured companion that would not suffer martyrdom rather than take off three bumpers in a hand”.[4] She is depicted as an ignorant woman, though amiable and unpretentious. Pix is summarised as “foolish and openhearted”.

Her first play was put on stage in 1696 at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, near her house in London but when that same theatrical company performed The Female Wits, she moved to Lincoln’s Inn Fields. They said of her that “she has boldly given us an essay of her talent … and not without success, though with little profit to herself”. (Morgan, 1991: xii).

In the season of 1697–1698, Pix became involved in a plagiarism scandal with George Powell. Powell was a rival playwright and the manager of the Drury Lane theatrical company. Pix sent her play, The Deceiver Deceived to Powell’s company, as a possible drama for them to perform. Powell rejected the play but kept the manuscript and then proceeded to write and perform a play called The Imposture Defeated, which had a plot and main character taken directly from The Deceiver Deceived. In the following public backlash, Pix accused Powell of stealing her work and Powell claimed that instead he and Pix had both drawn their plays from the same source material, an unnamed novel. In 1698, an anonymous writer, now believed to be Powell, published a letter called “To the Ingenious Mr. _____.” which attacked Pix and her fellow female playwright Trotter. The letter attempted to malign Pix on various issues, such as her spelling and presumption in publishing her writing. Though Pix’s public reputation was not damaged and she continued writing after the plagiarism scandal, she stopped putting her name on her work and after 1699 she only included her name on one play, in spite of the fact that she is believed to have written at least seven more. Scholars still discuss the attribution of plays to Pix, notably whether or not she wrote Zelmane; or, The Corinthian Queen (1705).

In May 1707 Pix published A Poem, Humbly Inscrib’d to the Lords Commissioners for the Union of the Two Kingdoms. This would be her final appearance in print. She died two years later.

Few of the female playwrights of Mary Pix’s time came from a theatrical background and none came from the aristocracy: within a century, most successful actresses and female authors came from a familiar tradition of literature and theatre but Mary Pix and her contemporaries were from outside this world and had little in common with one another apart from a love for literature and a middle-class background.

At the time of Mary Pix, “The ideal of the one-breadwinner family had not yet become dominant”, whereas in 18th-century families it was normal for the woman to stay at home taking care of the children, house and servants, in Restoration England husband and wife worked together in familiar enterprises that sustained them both and female playwrights earned the same wage as their male counterparts.

Morgan also points out that “till the close of the period, authorship was not generally advertised on playbills, nor always proclaimed when plays were printed”, which made it easier for female authors to hide their identity so as to be more easily accepted among the most conservative audiences.

As Morgan states, “plays were valued according to how they performed and not by who wrote them. When authorship ―female or otherwise― remained a matter of passing interest, female playwrights were in an open and equal market with their male colleagues”.

Pix’s plays were very successful among contemporary audiences. Each play ran for at least four to five nights and some were even brought back for additional shows years later.[10] Her tragedies were quite popular, because she managed to mix extreme action with melting love scenes. Many critics believed that Pix’s best pieces were her comedies. Pix’s comedic work was lively and full of double plots, intrigue, confusion, songs, dances and humorous disguise. An Encyclopaedia of British Women Writers (1998) points out that

Forced or unhappy marriages appear frequently and prominently in the comedies. Pix is not, however, writing polemics against the forced marriage but using it as a plot device and sentimentalizing the unhappily married person, who is sometimes rescued and married more satisfactorily.”(Schlueter & Schlueter, 1998: 513)

Although some contemporary women writers, like Aphra Behn, have been rediscovered, even the most specialised scholars have little knowledge of works by writers such as Catherine Trotter, Delarivier Manley or Mary Pix, despite the fact that plays like The Beau Defeated (1700), present with a wider range of female characters than plays written by men at the time. Pix’s plays generally had eight or nine female roles, while plays by male writers only had two or three.[

A production of The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich (or The Beau Defeated) played as part of the 2018 season at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Pix produced one novel and seven plays. There are four other plays that were published anonymously, that are generally attributed to her.

Melinda Finberg notes that “a frequent motif in all her works is sexual violence and female victimization” – be that rape or murder (in the tragedies) or forcible confinement or the threat of rape (in the comedies).

^ Kramer, Annette (June 1994). “Mary Pix’s Nebulous Relationship to Zelmane”. Notes and Queries. 41 (2): 186–187. doi:10.1093/nq/41-2-186

PIX, Mrs. MARY (1666–1720?), dramatist, born in 1666 at Nettlebed in Oxfordshire, was daughter of the Rev. Roger Griffith, vicar of that place. Her mother, whose maiden name was Lucy Berriman, claimed descent from the ‘very considerable family of the Wallis’s.’ In the dedication of ‘The Spanish Wives’ Mrs. Pix speaks of meeting Colonel Tipping ‘at Soundess,’ or Soundness. This house, which was close to Nettlebed, was the property of John Wallis, eldest son of the mathematician. Mary Griffith’s father died before 1684, and on 24 July in that year she married in London, at St. Saviour’s, Benetfink, George Pix (b. 1660), a merchant tailor of St. Augustine’s parish. His family was connected with Hawkhurst, Kent. By him she had one child, who was buried at Hawkhurst in 1690.

It was in 1696, in which year Colley Cibber, Mrs. Manley, Catharine Cockburn (Mrs. Trotter), and Lord Lansdowne also made their débuts, that Mrs. Pix first came into public notice. She produced at Dorset Garden, and then printed, a blank-verse tragedy of ‘Ibrahim, the Thirteenth Emperor of the Turks.’ When it was too late, she discovered that she should have written ‘Ibrahim the Twelfth.’ This play she dedicated to the Hon. Richard Minchall of Bourton, a neighbour of her country days. In the same year (1696) Mary Pix published a novel, ‘The Inhuman Cardinal,’ and a farce, ‘The Spanish Wives,’ which had enjoyed a very considerable success at Dorset Garden.

From this point she devoted herself to dramatic authorship with more activity than had been shown before her time by any woman except Mrs. Afra Behn [q. v.] In 1697 she produced at Little Lincoln’s Inn Fields, and then published, a comedy of ‘The Innocent Mistress.’ This play, which was very successful, shows the influence of Congreve upon the author, and is the most readable of her productions. The prologue and epilogue were written by Peter Anthony Motteux [q. v.] It was followed the next year by ‘The Deceiver Deceived,’ a comedy which failed, and which involved the poetess in a quarrel. She accused George Powell [q. v.], the actor, of having seen the manuscript of her play, and of having stolen from it in his ‘Imposture Defeated.’ On 8 Sept. 1698 an anonymous ‘Letter to Mr. Congreve’ was published in the interests of Powell, from which it would seem that Congreve had by this time taken Mary Pix under his protection, with Mrs. Trotter, and was to be seen ‘very gravely with his hat over his eyes … together with the two she-things called Poetesses’ (see GOSSE, Life of Congreve, pp. 123–5). Her next play was a tragedy of ‘Queen Catharine,’ brought out at Lincoln’s Inn, and published in 1698. Mrs. Trotter wrote the epilogue. In her own prologue Mary Pix pays a warm tribute to Shakespeare. ‘The False Friend’ followed, at the same house, in 1699; the title of this comedy was borrowed three years later by Vanbrugh.

Hitherto Mary Pix had been careful to put her name on her title-pages or dedications; but the comedy of ‘The Beau Defeated’—undated, but published in 1700—though anonymous, is certainly hers. In 1701 she produced a tragedy of ‘The Double Distress.’ Two more plays have been attributed to Mary Pix by Downes. One of these is ‘The Conquest of Spain,’ an adaptation from Rowley’s ‘All’s lost by Lust,’ which was brought out at the Queen’s theatre in the Haymarket, ran for six nights, and was printed anonymously in 1705 (DOWNE, Roscius Anglicanus, p. 48). Finally, the comedy of the ‘Adventures in Madrid’ was acted at the same house with Mrs. Bracegirdle in the cast, and printed anonymously and without date. It has been attributed by the historians of the drama to 1709; but a copy in the possession of the present writer has a manuscript note of date of publication ‘10 August 1706.’

Nearly all our personal impression of Mary Pix is obtained from a dramatic satire entitled ‘The Female Wits; or, the Triumvirate of Poets.’ This was acted at Drury Lane Theatre about 1697, but apparently not printed until 1704, after the death of the author, Mr. W. M. It was directed at the three women who had just come forward as competitors for dramatic honours—Mrs. Pix, Mrs. Manley, and Mrs. Trotter [see Cockburn, Catharine]. Mrs. Pix, who is described as ‘a fat Female Author, a good, sociable, well-natur’d Companion, that will not suffer Martyrdom rather than take off three Bumpers in a Hand,’ was travestied by Mrs. Powell under the name of ‘Mrs. Wellfed.’

The style of Mrs. Pix confirms the statements of her contemporaries that though, as she says in the dedication of the ‘Spanish Wives,’ she had had an inclination to poetry from childhood, she was without learning of any sort. She is described as ‘foolish and open-hearted,’ and as being ‘big enough to be the Mother of the Muses.’ Her fatness and her love of good wine were matters of notoriety. Her comedies, though coarse, are far more decent than those of Mrs. Behn, and her comic bustle of dialogue is sometimes entertaining. Her tragedies are intolerable. She had not the most superficial idea of the way in which blank verse should be written, pompous prose, broken irregularly into lengths, being her ideal of versification.

The writings of Mary Pix were not collected in her own age, nor have they been reprinted since. Several of them have become exceedingly rare. An anonymous tragedy, ‘The Czar of Muscovy,’ published in 1702, a week after her play of ‘The Double Distress,’ has found its way into lists of her writings, but there is no evidence identifying it with her in any way. She was, however, the author of ‘Violenta, or the Rewards of Virtue, turn’d from Bocacce into Verse,’ 1704.

[Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica, 2nd ser. v. 110–3; Vicar-General’s Marriage Licences (Harl. Soc.), 1679–87, p. 173; Baker’s Biogr. Dramatica; Doran’s Annals of the English Stage, i. 243; Mrs. Pix’s works; Genest’s Hist. Account of the Stage.].



 11) 296J  Mademoiselle  Madeleine de Scudéri   (1607-1701) A triumphant arch erected and consecrated to the glory of the feminine sexe: by Monsieur de Scudery: Englished by I.B. gent.London : printed for William Hope, and Henry Herringman, at the blew Anchor behind the Old Exchange, and at the blew Anchor in the lower walk in the New Exchange, 1656.                                              $1,300

Octavo  A4 (lacking a1&a4) B-P8 Q3 (A1 blank?).    Title in red and black; title vignette (motto: “Dum spiro spero”)  First edition,Authorship ascribed to Madeleine de Scudéry by Brunet; according to other authorities the work was written by both Georges de Scudéry and his sister. This copy is lacking A1 &a4 index f., titled holed, browned and with marginal repairs (without loss), stained, lightly browned, corners worn, rubbed, contemporary sheep, rebacked,Very rare on the market the last copy I could find at auction was in 1967 ($420)Scudéry  was the most popular novelist in her time, read in French in volume installments all over Europe and translated into English, German, Italian, and even Arabic. But she was also a charismatic figure in French salon culture, a woman who supported herself through her writing and defended women’s education .Scudéry’s role as a model for women writers and for women’s education has also been an important topic of recent criticism. Critics including Jane Donaworth and Patricia Hannon have discussed her as an important influence on later women authors and even as a proto-feminist. Helen Osterman Borowitz has attempted to draw direct connections between Scudéry and the great French novelist Germaine de Staël. Critics have long acknowledged, however, that Scudéry was not only an influence on women novelists. Some have suggested that she also opened up new political possibilities. For example, Leonard Hinds has claimed that the collaborative model of authorship that existed in the salons was also a model for an alternative to absolutism, while Joan DeJean has suggested that her work can be seen as a response to political events of her age.In 1641 Madeleine published her first novel, Ibrahim ou l’illustre Bassa, under her brother’s name. This practice of using the name of her brother as her pseudonymous signature was one that she continued for most of her prolific career as a writer, despite the fact that her own authorship was openly acknowledged in the gazettes, memoirs, and letters of the time. Although the precise nature of his contributions is uncertain, Georges did clearly collaborate to some extent with his sister in the writing of her novels, and he wrote the prefaces to several of her books.

She won the first prize for eloquence awarded by the Académie Française (1671), but was barred from membership. Several academicians had attempted to lift the ban against women so that she could join their ranks, to no avail. Although her own authorship was widely acknowledged at the time, she used the name of her brother, Georges de Scudéry, as a pseudonymous signature throughout her career (Dejean)

Wing (2nd ed.), S2163 ,Thomason, E.1604[4]


Scudéry, Madeleine de. Selected Letters, Orations and Rhetorical Dialogues. Ed. and trans. Jane Donawerth and Julie Strongson. The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004), 8.

John Conley, “Madeleine de Scudéry,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.),

Joan Dejean. Scudéry, Madeleine de (1608-1701). The New Oxford Companion to Literature in French (Oxford University Press 1995, 2005).

Scudéry, Madeleine De (1607–1701).” Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World. . 11 Apr. 2019



12) 323J Madeleine Vigneron (1628-1667)

La vie et la conduite spirituelle de Mademoiselle M. Vigneron. Suivant les mémoires qu’elle en a laissez par l’ordre de son directeur (M. Bourdin). [Arranged and edited by him.].

IMG_1399Paris: Chez Pierre de Launay, 1689.  $3,200

Octavo 7 x 4 3/4 inches ã8 e8 A-2R8 (2R8 blank). Second and preferred edition first published in 1679.     This copy is bound in contemporary brown calf, five raised bands on spine, gilt floral tools in the compartments, second compartment titled in gilIMG_1398t; corners and spine extremities worn; three old joint repairs; on the front binder’s blank is an early ownership four-line inscription in French dated 1704, of

Sister Monique Vanden Heuvel, at the priory of Sion de Vilvoorde (Belgium).


Overall a fine copy.

This is the stirring journal that Madeleine Vigneron , member of the Third Order of the Minims of St. Francis of Paola, she began to keep it in 1653 and continued until her premature death, (1667) It was first published in 1679 and again in the present second, and final, edition which is more complete than the first. Added are Madeleine’s series of 78 letters representing her spiritual correspondence.IMG_1410

In these autobiographical writings, which were collected and published by her Director, the Minim Matthieu Bourdin, Madeleine speaks of the illnesses that plagued her since childhood and greatly handicapped her throughout a life that she dedicated to God by caring for the poor. She received admirable lights on the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ, on the mysteries of the spiritual life. The hagiographers have remarked her austerity, her patience, her insatiable desire to suffer for God. Those who knew her perceived in her a virtuous life that impressed them.

This is a very rare book: the combined resources of NUC and OCLC locate only one copy in America, at the University of Dayton which also holds the only American copy of the 1679 edition.

§ Cioranescu 66466 (the 1679 edition).

checklist of early modern writings by nuns

Carr, Thomas M., “A Checklist of Published Writings in French by Early Modern Nuns” (2007). French Language and Literature Papers. 52.





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