London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans & Roberts, 1859.
Small octavo, 244, 24 pages. FIRST UK EDITION, and the first edition of the English language translation of Leonard Francis Simpson. The first English language translation was that of Fayette Robinson, published in Philadelphia in 1854. Simpson's translation here is quite unfaithful to the original, admitting in the Introduction that "Many parts are, however, condensed, others omitted, as not suited to the present tone of society." Subsequent editions of Simpson's translation strayed even further, with emphasis placed on a rejection of gourmandise, even changing the title to, The Handbook of Dining; or, Corpulence and Leanness Scientifically Considered Comprising the art of dining on correct principles consistent with easy digestion, the avoidance of corpulency, and the cure of leanness. Quite a departure from Brillat-Savarin's original. But the translator did have high hopes for this book to affect a change upon Britain. The Translator's Preface takes the form of a discussion among Olympians, where the goddess Gasterea speaks up to Jupiter, informing him that, "There is a race... of bold sea-girt islanders who worship me well in their way; indeed, mighty fires of coal never cease to burn in my honour; but it a melancholy fact, that London does not know 'How to Dine!'" proposing a Reform movement starting with this book. A lovely copy, in gilt-titled clue cloth, with a pattern of pink polka-dots. With previous owner's bookplate to the front pastedown, and a binder's ticket to the rear pastedown. Near fine. [OCLC records thirty-five copies; Bitting, page 437; Cagle 580; Craig 14].