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Choiseul-Meuse, Julie, ou j'ai sauvé ma rose, 1807.

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€3.700,00 EUR
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The first openly lesbian romance novel - and banned for it.


Félicité de Choiseul-Meuse (1787-1838).

Julie, ou j'ai sauvé ma rose. Par Madame de C***. Nouvelle édition revue et corrigée.

Hamburg, et se trouve à Paris, chez les Marchands de Nouveautés, 1807.


2 volumes. 8°. [4], 252; [4], 287 pp.

Contemporary Empire style gold-tooled half green and red morocco with marbled sides.


Second edition of the first Western book to feature explicit lesbian erotic scenes, originally banned and largely destroyed. Printed very shortly after the first edition, this second edition appears to be the earliest to include the controversial second volume, where the explicit lesbian content appears. Although the title calls for it, volume 2 of the first edition is not listed in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BnF), nor in Glessner's bibliography. The book was blacklisted in 1825, and its destruction was ordered in 1827 due to its obscenities, 20 years after the publication of both editions. It seems that only volume 2 of the first edition was thoroughly eradicated, while the second edition, which we offer here, has escaped persecution.
Same-sex lovemaking in Choiseul-Meuse's work was considered intolerably obscene by nineteenth-century standards, leading to harsher censorship compared to heterosexual content her other two later banned works "Entre chien et loup" and "Amélie de Saint-Far." "Julie ou j'ai sauvé ma rose" has attracted significant attention due to its severe censorship and rich portrayal of both heterosexual and lesbian eroticism. Although not particularly shocking by today’s standards, her writing reveals the challenges faced by female authors of eroticism during the late Enlightenment. "Julie," remains significant for understanding the evolution of erotic literature and the societal challenges faced by female authors.

Condition: binding very slightly scuffed. Inscription in ink on both titles. Marginal stain on pp. 107-110 and 225-228 of vol. 1. Otherwise in very good, attractive condition.

Reference: J.J. Gay II, pp. 747-748; Pia, “Les Livres de l'Enfer” pp. 713-714.

Beth A. Glessner, “The Censored Erotic Works of Félicité de Choiseul-Meuse”. In Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, 16(1) (1997), pp. 131–143.

Valérie Van Crugten-André, “Félicité de Choiseul-Meuse: libertinage in the bourgeois order”, in Roland Mortier and Hasquin, ed, “Portraits of women”, in Studies on the 18th century, XXVIII, Editions de l' University of Brussels, 2000.

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