La Vita Civile

(MARTINELLI, V.) Istoria Critica della Vita Civile. Con Indice copioso delle Materie al nobilissimo Signore Alfonso C. Ercolani, Marchese di Florimonte Cavalier della Chiave d’Oro e Principe del S.R.I. Bologna, All’Insegna dell’Iride, 1754. With engraved frontispiece, title within engraved border, woodcut initials and headpieces. Half-title, frontispiece, title, [14], 270, [2] pp. Folio. Contemporary vellum, a bit spotted, spine with raised bands, paper label to spine, small loss of vellum in compartment at foot of spine.

€ 950

This is the first Italian edition, the book was first published in London in 1752. This first Italian edition is rather scarce on the market.
Vincenzo Martinelli (1702-1785), the Montecatino born jurist and man of letters worked as a lawyer and later at the state changery in Naples before he came to England in 1748 to teach Italian. The book had already been composed in Italy but it was first published in England, the first of three books he would eventually publish in England. It made his reputation as a man of letters: it consists of 19 chapters each dealing with one aspect of la vita civile: education and the education of women, the duties of family life, industry, art, science, marriage, liberal arts, theatre, law, methods of government, etc., and finishes with “della liberta.” There is an interesting section on Martinelli and his stay in England and Italian-English relations in Franco Venturi’s The End of the Old Regime in Europe 1768-1776, pp. 384-392. – Some occasional light stains, a copy with large margins.