18 November 2014
CRIMINAL CONVERSATION -- [Trials for Adultery: or, the History of Divorces. London: S. Bladon, 1780.]
Octavo (232 x 145mm). 30 engraved plates by Wells, Golder, Grignion, Cook, Birrell and Collyer, after Dodd. (Without the text, occasional faint spotting and soiling, 3 plates slightly loose.) Uncut in contemporary marbled-paper covered boards (rebacked with crude cloth spine, extremities rubbed).
COMPLETE SET OF THE RARE SUITE OF PLATES WITH WIDE, UNCUT MARGINS. 'The genre of pornographic trial reports was fully developed in the late 1770s, a fact which is borne out by the publication in seven volumes of a special collection of interesting cases, Trials for Adultery... The editor remarks to the reader that "conjugal infidelity is become so general that it is hardly considered as criminal; especially in the fashionable world". In view of the many erotic and obscene prints contained in the seven volumes, the moral justifications offered in defence of the publication of the trial reports appear quite ridiculous, if not hypocritical' (Wagner, Courtroom p.128). ESTC T106050 calls for 30 plates.
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