vintage authors


Charles Perrault (12 January 1628 – 16 May 1703) 

French author and member of the Académie Française. He laid the foundations for a new literary genre, the fairy tale, with his works derived from pre-existing folk tales. The best known of his tales include Le Petit Chaperon Rouge (Little Red Riding Hood), Cendrillon (Cinderella), Le Chat Botté (Puss in Boots), La Belle au bois Dormant (The Sleeping Beauty), and Barbe Bleue (Bluebeard). (Wikipedia)

From our stacks: Illustrations from The Cinderella Fairy Book; containing: Cinderella, or the Glass Slipper, Puss in Boots, Red Riding Hood, Drill of the A, B, C, Army. With Twenty-eight Colored Illustrations. Cincinnati: Peter G. Thomson, 1881.


Pietro Aretino (20 April 1492 – 21 October 1556) 

Italian author, playwright, poet, satirist and blackmailer who wielded immense influence on contemporary art and politics and invented modern literate pornography.

He is said to have died of suffocation from “laughing too much”. The English traveller Sir John Reresby visited “the obscene profane poet” Aretino’s grave in San Luca, Venice in the mid-1650s. He relates that the following epitaph had been removed by the inquisitors: “Qui jace Aretin, poeta Tusco, qui dice mal d'ogni uno fuora di Dio; scusandosi dicendo, Io no'l cognosco.” This he translates as “Here Aretin, the Tuscan poet, lies, who all the world abused but God, and why? he said he knew him not.”

In 2007, the composer Michael Nyman set Aretino’s Sonetti lussuriosi to music under the title 8 Lust Songs. Once again, Aretino’s texts proved controversial: at a 2008 performance at Cadogan Hall, the printed programs were withdrawn following allegations of obscenity.  (Wikipedia)

From our stacks: Frontispiece “Portrait of Aretino, by Titian” and illustrations from The Works of Aretino. Translated into English from the original Italian, with a critical and biographical essay by Samuel Putnam. Illustrations by Marquis de Bayros. Volume I - II. Chicago: Pascal Covici, 1926. “This Edition of The Works of Aretino, in two volumes, issued to subscribers only, is limited to twelve hundred and fifty numbered sets, of which this is Number 757.”