Description de l'Isle des Hermaphrodites Nouvellement Découverte, Contenant les Moeurs, les Coutumes & les Ordonnances des Habitans de cette Isle…. Thomas ARTUS, Sieur d'Embry.
Description de l'Isle des Hermaphrodites Nouvellement Découverte, Contenant les Moeurs, les Coutumes & les Ordonnances des Habitans de cette Isle…

Description de l'Isle des Hermaphrodites Nouvellement Découverte…
Description de l'Isle des Hermaphrodites Nouvellement Découverte, Contenant les Moeurs, les Coutumes & les Ordonnances des Habitans de cette Isle…

Cologne: Herman Demen, 1724.

Octavo, with an engraved frontispiece; a very good copy in contemporary calf, slightly rubbed, spine banded and gilt, red morocco label.

An underground classic of sexual adventuring

Rare, with the wonderful engraved frontispiece depicting one of the island's cross-dressing courtiers, from a world in which various evils are 'ironically depicted as admirable' (Gibson).

Rare, with the wonderful engraved frontispiece depicting one of the island's cross-dressing courtiers, from a world in which various evils are 'ironically depicted as admirable' (Gibson).

The work was first published in 1605, the era of Montaigne (died 1592) and Shakespeare, and it is therefore not surprising that it shared their fascination with the new world, although it clearly owes most of its inspiration to the granddaddy of the imaginary voyage genre, Thomas More's Utopia. The narrator of the tale tells of his shipwreck and how he had washed up on a floating island where he was privileged to be allowed an intimate glimpse of an hermaphrodite world. As Atkinson comments, it is important for its attempt to create 'a realistic setting, based upon accounts of genuine voyages' and is thought to be the earliest major utopian fiction written in French. This second edition of 1724, as a result, is testament to the reinvigoration of the imaginary voyage tradition taking place in the early eighteenth century. A series of editions followed.

Little is known about the author, except that he came from a noble Parisian family.

Barbier, I, p. 893; Gibson, 'St. Thomas More… with a Bibliography of Utopiana', 610; Negley, 44.

Price (AUD): $3,200.00

US$2,342.40   Other currencies

Ref: #5000472