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Octavo, pp. [i-iii] iv-xii 1-291 [292: blank], old full calf, new endpapers circa 1920s (?), recent leather title piece affixed to spine panel. Second edition. A very popular utopian work, first published in London in 1737, that was reprinted many times in England and published in Europe in French, German, and Dutch editions. "Lost race novel of the finding of a utopian civilization in Africa; allegedly translated from the Italian but actually a native British production and a pioneer of the genre." - Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy Volume II, pp. 7-8. "Despite the claim that the author first wrote in Italian, this work was originally written in English by a Catholic priest. It gained early fame because it was attributed to Bishop George Berkeley. Neither Berkeley nor Berington bothered to deny the attribution . Berington through the testimony of his hero Gaudentio di Lucca at the Inquisition describes the kingdom of Mezzorania in northern Africa. In this utopian society the guiding principle is that Nature is the source of all that is good for mankind. There are echoes of other eighteenth-century writers, Fenelon and Lescondel, for example, and perhaps even the earlier Vairasse. Mezzorania, it should be noted, is still another of those countries set in a remote area, occupied, in this case, three thousand years earlier by a people fleeing from invading armies. Without contact with the outside world they have been free to develop in a natural environment, with a natural religion and a consequent utopian society." - Lewis, Utopian Literature, p. 18. "Berington was probably influenced by More in lauding the family and describing a natural religion." - Gibson and Patrick, "Utopias and Dystopias, 1500-1750" in Gibson, St. Thomas More: A Preliminary Bibliography (1961) 623. "One of the more popular eighteenth-century imaginary voyages, and on the whole, a pleasant, entertaining work." - Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 188. Gove, The Imaginary Voyage in Prose Fiction, pp. 295-300. Negley, Utopian Literature: A Bibliography 93. Sargent, British and American Utopian Literature, 1516-1985, p. 22. Bleiler (1978). p. 22. Reginald 01171B. Calf worn at edges, outer joints broken but cords still holding firm, blank lower third of last leaf restored, early owner's signatures at upper edge of title page, contents sound and complete. (#147692). N° de réf. du libraire
Titre : THE ADVENTURES OF SIGR. GAUDENTIO DI LUCCA. ...
Éditeur : Printed for W. Innys in Pater-noster Row, and R. Manby and H. S. Cox on Ludgate-Hill, and sold by M. Cooper in Pater-noster Row
Date d'édition : 1748
Description du livre Printed for W. Innys. 1748, 1748. xii, 24, 291, p. 8vo. Titlepage dusted & creased, tear to upper margin, old waterstaining to upper margins & intrusive red stain to first 20 pages affecting extreme upper edge of most leaves, crease to first 15 leaves. Recent linen-backed marbled boards, black gilt label. Early ownership signature of Trafford Barnstone on titlepage. ESTC T59629. First published in 1737 as The Memoirs of Sigr. Gaudentio di Lucca . translated by E.T.', it was in fact written by the English Catholic, Simon Berington. There was a Dublin edition of 1738 and a French translation of 1746. The second London edition of 1748 was entitled The Adventures of Sig' Gaudentio di Lucca which was the title under which all subsequent English language editions appeared. Numerous continental editions guaranteed that it was one of the best-selling novels of the mid 18th century but, as it was originally published in the early years of the periodical press, it seems to have largely escaped published criticism at its first appearance. In 1825 The Retrospective Review devoted sixteen pages to the novel, praising it highly, and attributing it to George Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne. Simon Berington was the fourth son of John Berington of Winsley House, Hope under Dinmore, Herefordshire, who had been born in January 1680. It was apparently written for his amusement and distraction during a period of gout. The first ninety pages of Gaudentio's account is a series of thrilling adventures, rather in the Henry Rider Haggard style and well written, especially by comparison with other adventure romances of the period. Then, Gaudentio having been taken by a strange people called Mezzoranians to their hitherto unknown country in equatorial Africa, a hundred and fifty pages of discourses on their history and institutions follow. The core of the novel is thus a description of a Utopia, with Tommaso Campanella's Civitas Solis (1623) and Denis Veiras's Histoire des Sevarambes (1677- 79) as the principal inspirations. Coming at a time when prose fiction was casting about for its appropriate subject matter and was still in the experimental stages of its art, Gaudentio is almost the only specimen of the novel in English between Crusoe and Gulliver on the one hand, and Pamela on the other. (For a detailed discussion of the novel and its author see: Simon Berington's Adventures of Sig'r Gaudentio di Lucca, by A.D. Harvey, in 18th Century Fiction, Vol IV, 1991.). N° de réf. du libraire 55655