Book ID: 28844 The Ephesian Matron . . WALTER CHARLETON.
The Ephesian Matron . . .

An Epicurean Tale

The Ephesian Matron . . .

Place and Imprint: London: Printed for Henry Herringman, 1659.
Edition: First edition.
Bibliographical References: ESTC R210048; Wing C3671; Mish, English Prose Fiction, 1600-1700, page 35; NCBEL I, 2058.
Condition: Bound a little tightly; two mended tears, without loss; very good copy.
Book ID: 28844

Physical Description

Small 12mo, late 19th century brown half smooth calf, brown cloth sides, gilt lettering. Text interleaved with old laid paper, but without annotations.


A rare work of prose fiction by prolific writer, physician and philosopher William Charleton (1619-1707), a short philosophical tale based on the story of a woman from the legendary ancient city of Ephesus: “The Ephesian Matron: Based on the Tale in the ‘Satyricon’ of Petronius . . . is an attack on the fashionable cult of Platonic love of [Charleton’s] day, in which he insists that physical love and lust are both manifestations of 'an appetite to procreation'. Charleton sees his lascivious heroine as an Epicurean who lives by 'the simple dictates of mother-Nature’” – John Henry in the ODNB. Provenance: small round stamp of Queen's College, Oxford, on the verso of the title-page and the final leaf of text. The library has been consulted and reported that they have no record of ownership of this book. It is presumed that it was sold sometime in the 19th century, without a release note or withdrawal stamp. Rare: ESTC and Wing record the same four copies of this book: BL, Dulwich College, Bodleian, Illinois.

Price: $2,500.00