BERINGTON Simon (1680-1755)

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BERINGTON Simon (1680-1755)


Memoirs of Gaudence de Luques, prisoner of the Inquisition; Augmented with several Notebooks that have been lost at the Customs of Marseille (Amsterdam, 1753); 4 parts in 2 volumes in-12 (158 x 94 mm), 4 figures and vignettes engraved by Fessard, after Le Lorrain, dated 1752. Bound in contemporary style: red morocco, large frame plate by Pierre-Paul DUBUISSON, with spider web, flowers and foliage (Rahir 197; Gruel II, pp. 69-70, pl. B), smooth spine decorated with poppy flowers, stars and circles, title and tomaison pieces in fawn morocco, gilt edges on marbling, embossed white paper endpapers with gilt floral decoration (some corners skilfully restored).
First illustrated edition of this anonymous utopian novel whose hero bears an Italian name, Gaudentio di Lucca, but whose author is said to be the Englishman Simon Berington, who was long held to be the translator of the first English edition (1737). Socialist-inspired, the novel describes Mezzoramia, a paradise to which Gaudence of
Luques discovers access, and in which he resides for 25 years.
It describes a patriarchal society from which competition and selfishness have been banished, and where equality of wealth and community spirit have been established. The novel was first revised in 1746 when it was first translated into French by the Chevalier de Saint-Germain, and increased to a definitive version in 1753 by Jean-Baptiste
Dupuy-Demportes.
A fine copy in a high-quality morocco binding, decorated with a very pretty rock plate. This plate can be found on two copies of Heures printed in 1743, stamped with the arms of Louis
XV, both bearing the Dubuisson label.
Ex-libris Michel WITTOCK.
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