A discussion of interesting books from my current stock A site

Half price or less SALE Price DEFERED BILLING Early Modern Books by Women/ about them.

Author INDEX

1) 415J\ #779 . Anon.), Waring, Robert

2)  342 J Attributed to James Wright

3) 346J   J.B.  

4) 377J Mary Barber 377J

4)  Mary Barber

5) 347J Susanna Centlivre 

6) 357J Susanna Centlivre

7) 849G\#780  Etherege, Sir George

8) #257J   Jacques Ferrand, medecin

9)  515F\#784 Huet, Pierre-Daniel (1630-1721)

9) 122F Mary De La Riviere Manley 122F

10) 103G Katherine Philips 103G

11) 376J Mary Pix  

12) 331j.\#781  Polwheile, Theolophilus

12) 323J Madeleine Vigneron 323



1) 415J\ #779 . Anon.), Waring, Robert, 1614-1658. Translated by John Noris.

Effigies amoris in English: or the picture of love unveil’d.

Oxford: London : Printed for James Good in Oxford, and sold by J. Nut [i.e. Nutt, London], 1701. Second edition of the English translation by John Norton. ¶ Duodecimo; A-E12, F11 (A1, half title, present) Bound in original full calf, missing some leather from spine but cords are very strong. Some wonderful quotes for this book:
The Answer of R. W. to his Friend, importunately desiring to know what LOVE might be?

s-l1600I Acknowledge the wanton Ty∣ranny of imperious Love, that is always requiring the most diffi∣cult Trials of the Affections. Now though it be a kinde of an Hercu∣lean Labour it self to Love, considering those severe duties, those toyls, and hazards appendant to it; as if Cruelty were its sole delight: Nevertheless we believe it reasonable, what names so∣ever we have given to Love, that he should exercise his Soveraignty, which is certainly very great and puissant; and by the Severity of his Commands, that he should augment the glory of his high Rule, and our obedient Sub∣mission.

“However, this is the supreme Office of Reason, to make a right choice of Disposition and Conditions; to choose a Companion with whom we are sure to live with more delight than with our selves; whose judgment we may be sure to follow as our own: or else to stay till we can finde a proper Ob∣ject of Love. Then also so to love, like one who is guided by Judgment, not carried away by Passion; like one so far from ceasing, that he is always beginning to Love. This is to joyn Patience with Constancy. This is to receive the Idea more fairly imprinted in the Minde, than in Wax, and to preserve more stedfastly. ‘Tis the Of∣fice of Vertue, to determine upon one measure of wishing; to covet a dispo∣sition and inclination like his own, through all the changes of Fortune; and so to make two of one, that they may act the same person.”

ESTC Citation No. N1243

The “Amoris Effigies (anon.), London, 1649, 1664, 1668, 1671. In 1680 appeared a loose English translation, by a Robert Nightingale, which deviated in many points from the Latin original. John Norris, under the pseudonym Phil-iconerus, published a fresh translation, London, 1682; 2nd edit., 1701; In his introduction, Norris wrote of Waring’s “sweetness of fancy, neatness of style, and lusciousness of hidden sense”.
Waring also wrote Latin verses, including in Jonsonus Virbius [playwright Ben Jonson.](1639), reprinted in the 1668 and subsequent editions of the Amoris Effigies, under the title of Carmen Lapidorium.” (DNB).

Price: $1,150.00



2) 342 J Attributed to James Wright

The Humours and conversations of the town expos’d in two dialogues : the first, of the men, the second, of the women.

London : printed for R. Bentley, in Russel-Street, in Covent-Garden, and J. Tonson, at the Judge’s-Head in Chancery-Lane, 1693.


First and only edition. Bound in speckled calf, recently rebacked, with the signature of Jane Modgford on the title and page 1. Wright, James 1643-1713, antiquary and miscellaneous writer, “A versatile writer with a lucid style and a genuine touch of 736_2humour, especially as an essayist…” [DNB]. The attribution first appears, in Brice Harris’s facsimile of this edition printed in 1961. The work itself is written as a dialogue between Jovial and Pensive who have visited London and wish to return to the country. Jovial’s cousin, Sociable, enjoys the London social whirl. They argue about the various pleasures of the city versus the country. Dryden is discussed at one point: “the company of the author of Absalom and Achitophel is more valuable, tho’ not so talkative, than that of the modern men of banter; for what he says, is like what he writes; much to the purpose, and full of mighty sense…” This is followed by another, shorter, dialogue between Madam Townlove and Madam Thinkwell.

The original form ‘to a T’ is an old phrase and the earliest citation that I know of is in James Wright’s satire The Humours and Conversations of the Town.
“All the under Villages and Towns-men come to him for Redress; which he does to a T.”

The letter ‘T’ itself, as the initial of a word. If this is the derivation then the word in question is very likely to be ‘tittle’. A tittle is a small stroke or point in writing or printing and is now best remembered via the term jot or tittle. The best reason for believing that this is the source of the ‘T’ is that the phrase ‘to a tittle’ existed in English well before ‘to a T’, with the same meaning;

for example, in Francis Beaumont’s Jacobean comedy drama The Woman Hater, 1607. we find: “Ile quote him to a tittle.”

In this case, although there is no smoking gun, the ‘to a tittle’ derivation would probably stand up in court as ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. Very nice condition. Item #736

Wing; H3720; Cf. Macdonald, Hugh. John Dryden; a bibliography. Oxford, 1939, p. 275-276. :Brett-Smith 305.

ESTC Citation No. R31136

Price: $2,200.00



  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.             $2,700

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]    most likely a typo.  7pp, [1]. Not in ESTC or Foxon; c/f N491542 and N13607.                         $2,500

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                            $2,000


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.



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

The gamester: A Comedy…

London. Printed for William Turner, 1705.                           $2,000

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.




5) 849G\#780  Etherege, Sir George

The comical revenge, or, Love in a Tub. Acted at His Highness the Duke of York’s Theatre in Lincolns-Inn-fields. Licensed, July 8. 1664. Roger L’Estrange

London: Printed for Henry Herringman, and are to be sold at his shop at the Blew-Anchor in the Lower Walk of the New Exchange,1669,

Quarto 8.75 x 6.5 inches. A-I4, K4.(In this edition, there is a comma after title word “revenge” and leaf A2r has catchword “hope”. Another edition has a semi-colon after “revenge” and leaf A2r has catchword “the”.).
The first work of Etherege was The Comical Revenge, or Love in a Tub. It was published in 1664 and may have been produced for the first time late in the previous year. This comedy was an immediate success and Etherege found himself, in a night, famous. Thus introduced to the wits and the fops of the town, Etherege took his place in the select and dissolute circle of Rochester, Dorset and Sedley. On one occasion, at Epsom, after tossing in a blanket certain fiddlers who refused to play, Rochester, Etherege and other boon IMG_4619 2companions so “skirmished the watch” that they left one of their number thrust through with a pike and were fain to abscond. Etherege married a fortune, it is not certain when, and, apparently for no better reason, was knighted. On the death of Rochester, he was, for some time, the “protector” of the beautiful and talented actress, Mrs. Barry. 63  Ever indolent and procrastinating, Etherege allowed four years to elapse before his next venture into comedy. She Would if She Could, 1668.

“The reputation of Sir George Etherege has risen considerably in the present century, and although there is now some danger of his being given an importance that he would have been the first to disown, he undoubtedly stamped his own unemphatic image on the Restoration theater. The comic world of his first two plays, although it is almost as unreal to the modern playgoer as the world of Edwardian musical comedy, is still young and fresh; it has the cool fragrance of those early mornings in the sixteen-sixties that Etherege knew so well as he went rollicking home after a night of pleasure. […] His gentlemen never do anything that he and his friends would have been ashamed to do themselves. Whatever his moral standards may be, we have at least the satisfaction of feeling (as we do not with Dryden) that he is not consciously lowering them to make an English comedy. […] (Sutherland).

Wing E-3370; W & M 546; Hazlitt, page 45.

Price: $1,500.00

 #257J  Ferrand, Jacques Ferrand, medecin

EROTOMANIA or A treatise discoursing of the essence, causes, symptomes, prognosticks, and cure of love, or Erotiqve melancholy. Written by Iames Ferrand Dr. of Physick

Oxford: by L. Lichfield to be sold by Edward Forrest, 1640,  First Edition in English. This copy is neatly bound in 19th century calf with a gilt spine. it is quite a lovely copy.


This book is filled with details chosen on account of the personal motives and life ex- perience of the author. A close reading of Ferrand’s treatise (in particular a careful 257J_2comparison of the two editions) reveals that he had to deal with criticism from both the religious establishment (the Catholic Church) and the academic establishment (his colleagues in the Paris medical faculty)

“Climate, diet and physical activity (three of the six “non-natural IMG_0893causes”) were the main elements controlling an individual’s health8. However, a reading of descriptions of the lifestyle which is most likely to lead to being infected by love melancholy makes it clear that the disease was characteristic of a specific social class. Wine, white bread, eggs, rich meats (especially white meat and stuffed poultry), nuts and most sweets were thought to be prob- lematic. Aphrodisiac foods such as honey, exotic fruits, cakes and sweet wines were considered to be extremely dangerous.

SMALL OCTAVO (5 3/4 x 3 5/8″). a-b⁸ c⁴ A-Z⁸.. Translated from the French by Edmund Chilmead.

Price: $4,500.00


515F\#784 Huet, Pierre-Daniel (1630-1721)

The history of romances. An enquiry into their original; instructions for composing them; an account of the most eminent authors; With Characters, and Curious Observations upon the Best Performances of that Kind. Written in Latin by Huetius; made English by Mr. Stephen Lewis.

London: printed for J. Hooke, at the Flower-de-Luce, and T. Caldecott, at the Sun; both against St. Dunstan’s Church in Fleetstreet, 1715.


Octavo. 5 1/2 X 3 3/4 inches [8],xi,[1],144,143-149,[1]p. ;

First Edition ESTC Citation No. T126113(O, CSmH, and ABu report the [8] preliminary pages with two dedication leaves after the tp. Some copies have 2 inserted dedication leaves between the title page [A2] and the Preface [A3], not present in this copy, as in some other copies we have traced, e.g. University of Michigan, [see Google Books-on-line], and they were certainly never present in this copy. )

This copy is bound in full modern panelled calf, it is a very nice copy. Huet translated the pastorals of Longus, wrote a tale called Diane de Castro, and gave with his Traitté de l’origine des romans (1670), his Treatise on the Origin of Romances the first world history of fiction. On being appointed assistant tutor to the Dauphin in 1670, he edited, with the assistance of Anne Lefêvre, afterwards Madame Dacier, the well-known edition of the Delphin Classics.

“I shall not undertake to […] examine whether Amadis de Gaul were originally from Spain, Flanders, or France; and whether the Romance of Tiel Ulespiegel be a Translation from the German; or in what Language the Romance of the Seven Wise Men of Greece was first written […]. It shall suffice if I tell you, that all these Works which Ignorance has given Birth to, carried along with them the Marks of their Original, and were no other than a Complication of Fictions, grossly cast together in the greatest Confusion, and infinitely short of the Excellent Degree of Art and Elegance, to which the French Nation is now arrived in Romances.”
The History of Romances […] Written in Latin by Huetius; Made English by Stephen Lewis (1715), p.136-38. Item #784

Price: $ 950.00


9) 103g Philips, Katherine.1631-1664

Letters from Orinda to Poliarchus

 London: printed by W.B. for Bernard Lintott, 1705                       $2,500

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.      $2,500

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.].



331j.\#781  Polwheile, Theolophilus

Aὐθέντης, Authentēs. Or A treatise of self-deniall. Wherein the necessity and excellency of it is demonstrated; with several directions for the practice of it. By Theophilus Polwheile, M.A. sometimes of Emmanuel Colledge in Cambridge, now teacher of the Church at Teverton in Devon

London: :printed for Thomas Johnson, and are to be sold by Richard Scott book-seller in Carlisle, 1658.



IMG_4628First Edition ¶. bound in mid 19th century brown calf, (48) 424 (46) pp. including 8 pp. publisher’s catalog, errata leaf at end, text clean, bright, collated complete, ownership signature of a B. Fuller in an old hand on bottom of title page, probably not that of Bishop William Fuller, but perhaps. Wing (2nd ed.), P2782; Thomason; E.1733[1]. NO US Copy. #331j. Item #781

n 1651 he took the degree of M.A. He was preacher at Carlisle until about 1655 (Dedication to Treatise on Self-deniall). In 1654 he was a member of the committee for ejecting scandalous ministers in the four northern counties of Cumberland, Durham, Northumberland, and Westmoreland. From that year until 1660, when he was driven from the living, he held the rectory of the portions of Clare and Tidcombe at Tiverton. The statement of the Rev. John Walker, in ‘The Sufferings of the Clergy,’ that he allowed the parsonage-house to fall into ruins, is confuted in Calamy’s ‘Continuation of Baxter’s Life and Times’ (i. 260–1). Polwhele sympathised with the religious views of the independents, and after the Restoration he was often in trouble for his religious opinions. After the declaration of James II the Steps meeting-house was built at Tiverton for the members of the independent body; he was appointed its first minister, and, on account of his age, Samuel Bartlett was appointed his assistant. He was buried in the churchyard of St. Peter, Tiverton, on 3 April 1689. His wife was a daughter of the Rev. William Benn of Dorchester. Their daughter married the Rev. Stephen Lobb

¶ Polwheile was a minister based mainly in Tiverton; the year after this was published, in the Restoration of 1660, he was ejected from his ministerial position for his religious views and for his sympathies with the Independents, who advocated for local control and for a certain freedom of religion for those who were not Catholic; because of this, he was often in trouble until the Declaration of Indulgence by James II in 1687, establishing freedom of religion in England (James II being Catholic). Polwheile died in 1689. Very Good.

Price: $1,800.00



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.  $2,000


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.



This is a link to the rest of my books.                  617*678*4517

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