Description[Nicolas Chorier.] Joannis Meursii (pseudo.) Elegantiae Latini Sermonis seu Aloisia Sigaea Toletana De arcanis Amoris & Veneris adjunctis fragmentis quibusdam eroticis. Pars prima-[secunda.] Leiden (Paris): Elzevirianis (Joseph-Gérard Barbou or Grangé), 1757. Krown & Spellman retail: $650. 8vo. 2 vols. in 1. ¹1,*1,a8,b3,A-N8;¹1,a1,A-K8,L6. ,xxiv,211,;,172pp. Contemp. mottled calf, flat spine attractively gilt, a.e.g., marbled endpapers; lacks final index leaf mentioned in Willems. Engraved frontis. ascribed to Gravelot. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
Nicolas Chorier (September 1, 1612-August 14, 1692) was a French lawyer, writer, and historian. He is known especially for his historical works on Dauphiné, as well as his erotic dialogue called The School of Women, or The Seven Flirtatious Discussions with Alosia (French: L'Academie des dames, ou les Sept entretiens galants d'Alosia)...The School of Women first appeared as a work in Latin entitled Aloisiae Sigaeae, Toletanae, Satyra sotadica de arcanis Amoris et Veneris. This manuscript claimed that it was originally written in Spanish by Luisa Sigea de Velasco, an erudite poetess and maid of honor at the court of Lisbon and was then translated into Latin by Jean or Johannes Meursius, a humanist born in Leiden, Holland in 1613. The attribution to Sigea was a lie and Meursius was a complete fabrication. The manuscript circulated through the libertine community at the beginning of the eighteenth century and was known in Latin under many different titles.
The book is written in the form of a series of dialogues with Tullia, a twenty-six year-old Italian woman, the wife of Callias, who is charged with the sexual initiation of her young cousin, Ottavia, to whom she declares, "You mother asked to reveal to you the most mysterious secrets of bridal bed and to teach you what you must be with your husband, which your husband will also be, touching these small things which so strongly inflame men's passion. This night, so that I can indoctrinate you in all of this liberated language, will sleep together in my bed, which I would like to be able to say will have been the softest of Venus's lace. [Wkpd]"...the most outspoken erotic work of the seventeenth century, and certainly the one rearest to true pornography." Kearney, History of Erotic Literature, 34. "The greatest of the Neo-Latin erotica..." Legman. Chorier wrote his work in Latin as the "Dialogues of Aloisia Sigea," supposedly translated from a Spanish original. Later editions ascribe it to Johannes Meursius the Dutch philologist with equal tongue-in-cheek. This work is frequently found without the index leaf, and it may be an issue point rather than a true loss. Indeed, no such leaf was ever bound in this copy which is in a contemporary binding. STCN 175708 (1 copy). Willems 2178. Rose 4253-4 (4253 same pagination as this). Private Case 381-2 (both without index leaf). Gay/Lemonnyer II,720. L'Enfer 143
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