De Heerlyke Beloning en Glorieryke Zegepraal der Deugd : Vertoond in de Verwonderlyke Lot- en Levensgevallen, van een Door het Huwelyk Ongelukkig Geworden Huisvrouw; Die, Na Dat ze Door Haar eige Man Tot Slavinnen Was Verkogt … Eindelyk Door Hem Weder Wierd Opgezogt ... = [The Wonderful Reward and Glorious Triumph of Virtue: Shown in the Astonishing Fate and Life of a Housewife Who Became Unhappy With Her Marriage; [and] After She Had Been Turned Into a Slave By Her Own Husband … Was Finally Returned Again To Him …] (Amsterdam: Steven van Esveldt, boekverkoper in de Kalverstraat, 1758). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process
The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired this rare first edition an anonymously published novel on the virtues of women, illustrated with eight engraved plates by an equally anonymous artist.
The book tells the story of the beautiful young Antonetta, Marquise Alb***, a married noble-woman living in Genoa who gets into trouble when she finds out her husband is sleeping with another woman. Her husband sells her as a slave to the Turks in Algiers and she ends up living in a harem.
When Antonetta finally manages to escape and travel back to Italy, her ship is destroyed during a storm near Tuscany. Thankfully, she is found by a hermit, who takes care of her until she is able to finish her journey back to Genoa. Spoiler: Antonetta forgives her husband and they live happily ever after.
According to the preface the story is based on true events. The author also promises that it will be both entertaining and educational, a real example for women.