The Works of the Famous Philosopher Containing His Complete Master-piece and Family Physician, His Experienced Midwife, His Book of Problems, and Remarks on Physiognomy to the Original Work is added an Essay on Marriage, Its Duties and Enjoyments - AristotleLondon: Printed for J. Smith, High Holborn, Undated , Hardback.
Condition: Good. Gently bruised at the head, tail and corners of the binding. The contents lightly toned with age.
Includes: Deckled edges; Line drawings; Colour plates; Title page vignette;
From the cover: “Aristotle’s Masterpiece, a manual of sex and pregnancy, first saw the light of day about 1680. It is not, of course, the work of the ancient Greek philosopher, but its true authorship is unclear: the name of William Salmon has been suggested. Other works by the same or other hands were accreted to the original ‘Masterpiece’ until by about 1735 the four parts here published made up the canon. Banned in Britain until the 1960’s, it nonetheless has had a long but mostly clandestine career as a quasi-pornographic book. Grubby copies were produced in back-street printers, sold in rubber-goods shops or Holywell Street, and passed from hand to hand until they disintegrated. Many young boys got their first inklings of sex from it. It was also sometimes given by their mothers to women about to get married; the effect it had on the mind of a virgin bride can only be conjectured. It has been read (or at any rate mentioned) by James Joyce, William Carleton, Evelyn Waugh, Anthony Burgess and many others, and probably has had more influence than is realized.”