THE MEMOIRS OF SIGR. GAUDENTIO DI LUCCA: TAKEN FROM HIS CONFESSION AND EXAMINATION BEFORE THE FATHERS OF THE INQUISITION AT BOLOGNA IN ITALY. MAKING A DISCOVERY OF AN UNKNOWN COUNTRY IN THE MIDST OF THE VAST DESERTS OF AFRICA, AS ANCIENT, POPULOUS, AND CIVILIZED, AS THE CHINESE. WITH AN ACCOUNT OF THEIR ANTIQUITY, ORGINE, RELIGION, CUSTOMS, POLITY, &C. AND THE MANNER HOW THEY GOT FIRST OVER THOSE VAST DESERTS. INTERSPERS'D WITH SEVERAL MOST SURPRIZING AND CURIOUS INCIDENTS. COPIED FROM THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT IN ST. MARK'S LIBRARY, AT VENICE: WITH CRITICAL NOTES OF THE LEARNED SIGNOR RHEDI, LATE LIBRARY-KEEPER OF THE SAID LIBRARY. TO WHICH IS PREFIX'D, A LETTER OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INQUISITION, TO THE SAME SIGNOR RHEDI, GIVING AN ACCOUNT OF THE MANNER AND CAUSES OF HIS BEING SEIZED. Faithfully Translated from the Italian, by E. T. Gent. London: Printed for T. Cooper, at the Globe in Pater-noster Row, 1737. Octavo, pp. [i-iii] iv-xiii [xiv-xvi] 1-335 [336: blank]; collates a4; b4; B-I8; K-U8; X-Y8, bound by Cecil & Larkins in fine imitation eighteenth-century full calf with richly tooled spine panel with five raised bands and red and green morocco lettering pieces, gilt rules on front and rear panels, gauffered edges, inner dentelles, marbled endpapers, all edges stained yellow. First edition. A very popular utopian work, first published in London in 1737, 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. Howgego, Encyclopedia of Exploration: Invented and Apocryphal Narratives of Travel B25. Negley, Utopian Literature: A Bibliography 93. Sargent, British and American Utopian Literature, 1516-1985, p. 22. Bleiler (1978). p. 22. Reginald 01171. Minute chips from upper front and rear outer joints, else a fine copy inside and out. A very nice copy. (#130651).
No statement of printing.