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[CLELAND, John (1709-1789).] Memoirs of Fanny Hill. London: for R. Griffiths, [c.1750].
[CLELAND, John (1709-1789).] Memoirs of Fanny Hill. London: for R. Griffiths, [c.1750].

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[CLELAND, John (1709-1789).] Memoirs of Fanny Hill. London: for R. Griffiths, [c.1750].

12° (165 x 98mm). Engraved headpieces and initials. (Light browning in first and last leaves.) Contemporary sprinkled calf, sides with gilt rule, edges sprinkled red (neatly rebacked to style). Provenance: Gerard Nordmann (label; sold, Christie's Paris, 14-15 December 2006, lot 135).

FIRST EDITION, THE NORDMANN COPY, of Cleland's very rare re-working of his own Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure. The latter was so explicit that it was banned immediately upon publication in 1749. In this re-working of the story, published the following year, Cleland shifted the focus away from eroticism. Fanny Hill is no mere abridgement to reduce outrage, but a novel in the narrative tradition of Moll Flanders. Nevertheless, it too was banned. Though undated, the first edition was announced in the General Advertiser of 8 March 1750; a warrant against it was issued on 15 March, and no other 18th-century editions are known. ESTC records only two copies of the first edition at the British Library and Harvard. Not in Kearney, not in Pia. A VERY GOOD COPY OF THIS CELEBRATED AND EXTREMELY RARE NOVEL.

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Eugenio Donadoni
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