s.l., s.n. 1530.
Small 8vo. [i], p. Gothic type (82), 29 lines per page, floriated white-line metalcut initials, title woodcut of two lovers in a walled garden with three maidens looking on (51 x 75 mm.) — he gestures with open hands (suggesting conversation), and she demurely diverts her gaze and lets slip a flower from a bouquet (?a come on).
Gilt-ruled crushed dark blue morocco (Bauzonnet-Trautz), gilt turn-ins, gilt-ruled and lettered spine, all edges gilt, red silk marker.
Only Copy Known: A THIRTEENTH-CENTURY GAME “UNDOUBTEDLY MUCH IN FAVOUR WITH AMOROUS SWAINS” (Davies). These questions and answers emboldened romantic make-believe, discussions of sex, social diversions and lively conversation.
The booklet has three parts. Either the woman or the man could initiate the give-and-take of the opening section. Each sally is met with a succinct and often witty reply. SEVERAL ARE FRANKLY EROTIC GAMBITS ON INTIMATE PHYSICAL CONTACT AND BEDROOM ACTIVITY. In the next suite, he queries her mental agility, truthfulness and knowledge of courtly love, then, finally, she his. These exchanges are longer and more complex.
This amatory game migrated from oral tradition to written text in the early 1300s. Boccaccio, Chaucer, Christine de Pisan and Mme. de La Fayette drew on it. The first clutch of demandes came into print about 1479 in a larger collection of amusements. The present edition closely follows the first independent printing (1488) with the addition of questions to be posed by the woman.
I have not traced a pre-1550 printing in a U.S. library. In fine condition; once in a larger volume of chapbooks (manuscript numbering on the title), from the libraries of Solar (Catalogue (1860) 1056), comte de Lurde (Catalogue (1872) 363), baron de Ruble (Catalogue (1899) 523) and Sczaniecki (Catalogue (1974) I: 13).
¶Lazard, “Ventes et Demandes d’amour” in Les Jeux à la Renaissance edd. Ariès & Margolin 133-49; Hassell, Amorous Games 201-27; Demandes d'amour ed. Felberg-Levitt 9-37, 80-81 & 122-3; Bechtel, Catalogue des gothiques D-146; see Davies’ Catalogue of…the Library of C. Fairfax Murray 117-8 (other editions).