[London: privately printed by Catherine Maria Bury, Countess of Charleville, 1796-97. First Edition, large paper copy (one of just 5). The first complete English translation. Large 8vo (just under 24 cm), pp. 227 218. Untrimmed. Bound in later 3/4 red morocco and plain boards (rubbed along the extremities), without the half title. "Mostly all of the copies were destroyed, the freedom of the translation being considered injurious to the memory of Lady Charleville. Only 5 copies were printed on large paper. See the notes to the Renouard copy no. 1349- sale by Sotheby June 30, 1834." The preface and notes cover 5 pages. ESTC; T137636.A nice clean tight set. Item #54353
A poem about Joan of Arc. From Wikipedia: "Voltaire was undoubtedly one of the most controversial writers and philosophers of the Enlightenment Age, and The Maid of Orleans was also certainly one of his more contentious works. An epic and scandalous satire concerning the life of the not-yet-canonised Joan of Arc ("the Maid of Orleans"), the poem was outlawed, burned and banned throughout a great portion of Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries. Containing mockery and satirical commentary on the life and antics of its subject, the poem itself has variously been described as "bawdy" and "licentious". Despite the often sexist and indecent contents of the text, its notoriety and contraband status made it one of the most widely read texts concerning Joan of Arc for several centuries. Circulating throughout the banned regions by often surreptitious means, the book was read by a large number of the populace. It was also disseminated by Voltaire himself to some of his colleagues and other members of the upper class, the circle of people and the portion of society that the text was specifically intended for.
The author (1762-1851) was the daughter of Thomas Townley Dawson, she married first, James Tisdall, and then in 1798 Charles William Bury, first Earl of Charleville. She was an invalid for many years.