18 November 2014
[POTTER, William Simpson (1805-1879) and others.] The Romance of Lust; or, Early Experiences. London: [William Lazenby] 1873-1876.
4 volumes, octavo (165 x 103 mm). Extra-illustrated with 11 original watercolours. (Title pages lightly browned.) 20th-century red leather, white labels printed in gilt on the spines. Provenance: Max Salomon (pencilled note recording the acquisition from his collection in 1959).
RARE FIRST EDITION. ONE OF ONLY THREE KNOWN COPIES, AND THE ONLY ONE ILLUSTRATED THROUGHOUT WITH ORIGINAL WATERCOLOURS. Ashbee notes that 150 copies were printed, but that most of the edition was destroyed, 'so that perhaps no more than twenty copies are now in existence'; Mendes locates just three, including this one. The Romance of Lust was a round-robin production written by Potter and others in the circle gravitating around Monkton Milnes; it was pirated a number of times and even translated into French as Le Roman de la Luxure. Ashbee Catena, 183; Mendes 75 and X66.
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