Lot 44
  • 44

[Jean Baptiste de Boyer, Marquis d'Argens]

5,000 - 7,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Therese Philosophe, ou Memoires pour servir à l'Histoire de D. Dirrag & de Mademoiselle Eradice. Edition correcte, & corrigée. The Hague [but Paris, c.1749]
  • Paper
2 parts in one volume, 8vo (170 x 110mm.), frontispiece and 15 (of 16) engraved plates (including 8 folding), separate title page to second part, contents for second part incorrectly paginated, final errata leaf, later crushed blue morocco ruled in gilt, spine gilt in compartments, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt, lacking plate 12, occasional spotting, folding plates with some creasing and tears, some neatly repaired


Sir David Lionel Salomons (1851-1925), Broomhill, Tunbridge Wells, bookplate and extract from a Salomons catalogue affixed to preliminary blank; "C.R." stamp on bookplate and flyleaves

As stated in the introduction to the catalogue of his library at Broomhill, Sir David Salomons collected "the finest Illustrated books, in the best states, produced in England and France". The French portion of this fine library focused on illustrated books printed between 1740 and 1790, when "Illustrators were most profuse with their Work and in their prime...no work before or since has equalled that of this period".


Nordmann 27; cf. Cohen-de Ricci 734 (earlier and later editions)

Catalogue Note

VERY RARE. Thérèse Philosophe, one of the earliest pornographic novels in a European language, is based on the Cadière-Girard affair. In 1730, Catherine Cadière (b.1709), a merchant's daughter, accused her Jesuit confessor, Jean-Baptiste Girard (1680-1733), of bewitching and raping her. Girard in turn accused her of slander. The ensuing scandal and subsequent trial was wildly sensational, and was the last witchcraft trial in the French-speaking world. 

Of the numerous literary interpretations of the story, Thérèse Philosophe remains the most famous. Sometimes attributed to Xavier d'Arles de Montigny, it is now widely accepted as the work of the Marquis d'Argens, first identified by the Marquis de Sade in 1797. The title includes anagrams of both Cadière ("Eradice") and Girard ("Dirrag").

The publication history of Thérèse Philosophe is notoriously complicated, with all early editions bearing an undated Hague imprint to avoid prosecution and each known in very few copies. This is believed to be the third edition, following the first edition published in Liège without illustrations and the second in Paris in the same year (with borders around the text).