Friday, May 10th, 2013...9:30 am

What’s New: Colorful Adventures

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Two recent acquisitions in the Early Modern Books and Manuscripts department have plenty of colorful adventures, both literally and metaphorically.

Grand Jeu des Aventures de Gil Blas. France, ca. 1800. pFB7.L5633.G800g

The first is a card game (call number pFB7.L5633.G800g) based on the classic picaresque novel L’Histoire de Gil Blas de Santillane by Alain Rene Le Sage, first published in 1715. Houghton already holds a set of cards from the same publisher for a parallel game based on Don Quixote, but this item is especially exciting in that the cards are still uncut on their original sheet, and beautifully hand-colored.

The second is a 1790 Hamburg edition of the work best known today as The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, here published as Gulliver Revived: or, the Vice of Lying Properly Exposed (call number EC75.R1847M.1789). The stories, which bear little connection to the historical Baron Münchhausen, have made his name synonymous with wildly improbably tall tales. All the early editions of Baron Munchausen are rare, and this one is significant for being the first English-language edition published in Germany. It has a number of charming illustrations, some of which have been colored in this copy.

Gulliver revived, or, the vice of lying properly exposed. Hamburg, 1790. EC75.R1847M.1789

Gulliver revived, or, the vice of lying properly exposed. Hamburg, 1790. EC75.R1847M.1789

Gulliver revived, or, the vice of lying properly exposed. Hamburg, 1790. EC75.R1847M.1789

Gulliver revived, or, the vice of lying properly exposed. Hamburg, 1790. EC75.R1847M.1789

[John Overholt, Curator of the Donald and Mary Hyde Collection of Samuel Johnson and Early Modern Books and Manuscripts, contributed this post.]

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