London: Lawlor and Quick, 9, Old Broad Street, and Stephen Couchman, 10, Throgmorton Street, 1823. First Edition. Cloth-Backed Boards. Expurgated edition of this controversial contemporary indictment of gambling clubs in Regency London, which named some of the more profligate nobility. Not including pages 311 to 438, which in most copies were redacted. 12mo (192 x 105mm): ,viii,9-310,439-456pp (p. 264 misnumbered "252"), with hand-colored engraved frontispiece of "La Roulette." Contemporary brown linen-backed darker brown boards, original printed paper label to spine, fore- and bottom edges untrimmed, some leaves unopened. "Stouthall" [underlined] noted on front paste down (possibly referring to Stouthall mansion on the the Gower Peninsula, part of Swansea, in Wales. Spine label chipped at edges but completely legible, front hinge repaired, else a spectacular, unsophisticated wide-margined copy, virtually free of foxing and stains. Jessel 459. Not in Halkett & Laing. Toole Stott (English Conjuring) 557. Fine. Item #BB2152
According to Jessel, unexpurgated copies are "of the greatest rarity," although Toole Stott says "I have come across more copies of the unexpurgated edition than of the expurgated." Following publication, the book "was immediately called in on account of the libellous [sic] matter in the eighth chapter—of 'Evil-disposed Personages,' pp. 311-438." Rouge et Noir ( also called *Trente et Quarante") is a 17th-century game of French origin played with cards on a special table, whose name derives from the colors (red and black) marked on the table layout, or tapis. The New Pocket Hoyle (London, 1810) still described the game in detail. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable mylar sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).