Paris: chez l'auteur et Garnier frères, 1847. First edition. 12mo, 305 pp, bound in 19th century marbled paper over boards backed with crushed brown morocco crudely stamped in gilt, with gilt compartments. Illustrated with a single engraved plate. Text in French. Ex Libris G. Sabattini, with his superb and topical engraved ex libris to the fep.
An unusually early attempt to justify divination by stressing its social and therapeutic value; ‘Nous sommes comme les médecins et les confesseurs: nous devons tout entendre, tout voir et nous raire’ (p. 298). The author also stresses the importance of divination to the sphere of women and their circumscribed role in French society. The author also points out early in the text that men are more likely to listen to female fortune-tellers, to whom they attribute “une plus parfaite connaissaince de l’avenir et une communication plus intime avec les esprits” [p. 18], perhaps the reason that the male author wrote the book under the pseudonym Mme. A. Lelièvre.
OCLC locates only three holdings, only one of which is in North America.
Prelims and terminal leaves heavily foxed, with some tidemarking throughout. The rear hinged is cracked, but holding, and the boards are rubbed through at tips. Item #29054