Paris and Lille: Delarue / Castiaux, n.d. (ca. 1820). 12mo. 1 f. ("garde"), 1 f. (colored frontispiece), 1 f. (title-page), -178 pp., 1 f. ("garde"). With 8 color woodcut plates, all depicting two scenes identified in cursive lettering. Modern sturdy half morocco over comb-marbled boards. Portion of text torn away from p. 35/6 with loss. Very good. Item #3681
Unstudied children's morality stories, some of which are incredibly harsh; for instance, "La petite gourmande" (The Little Greedy Girl) presents the account of Julie who is often punished for stealing. One day her parents left her alone for only a few moments: the greedy girl placed a chair on top of a table to steal some sugar. Tragically, the sugar was meant for rats and mice and was laced with arsenic. When she was discovered by her mother she was administered milk to diminish the effects of the poison. A doctor was sent for, and evidently he saved her life, but the little greedy girl became an "imbicile," and suffered acutely from gastro-intestinal pains for the rest of her life.
Curiously, the author of the present "Historiettes," was Etienne-Francois Bazot, a French Masonic writer. In 1810, he published in Paris his "Vocabulaire des Francs-Macons" and in 1811 his "Manuel du franc-macon."
Bibliographically confusing, at least two undated Delarue / Castiaux editions appeared within a short period of time, with 172 or 178 pp. but with varying numbers of plates. We have seen mention of another Delarue / Castiaux edition, likewise with 178 pp. but a completely different setting of type, containing an engraved title-page (ours does not), with points: first word on p. 176 is "Elle" (compared to ours: "Nous"). For obvious reasons, our edition does not conform to the 172 page printing, which incidentally was not issued with an engraved title-page.
PROVENANCE: "Martha H. Choate" (19th-century cursive inscription) -- "A.F. Wadsworth to G. Wadsworth Nov. 18, 53" (inscription in pencil). These individuals may have been associated with Boston feminist writer Caroline Healey Dall: correspondence from both Martha H. Choate and A.F. Wadsworth are preserved in the Dall Papers at the Massachusetts Historical Society. A Martha H. Choate is recorded as having been a Sunday school teacher at the West-Boston Society prior to 1856.
Gumuchian 6113, noting an imprint of "Lille, Castiaux, Paris, Delarue" ca. 1825, with a frontispiece, title, and 7 colored lithographs (ours are woodcuts).