Rare 350-year-old book to go under the hammer in Dorchester

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus - a 17th century version

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus - a 17th century version

First published in News

A RARE book discussing the differences between the sexes in the 17th century is going on sale in Dorchester.

The book entitled The Art How to Know Men, which was translated into English from the original French version by John Davies in 1665, is expected to fetch up to £300 when it goes on sale at Duke’s auctioneers on Thursday, April 10.

The volume had been gathering dust on a bookshelf before the vendor decided to check if it could be worth something.

A Duke’s spokesman said: “This small brown leather bound book is an excellent portrayal of how men and women were thought of so differently in the 1600s and was clearly written for both sexes to help them understand each other.

“I suppose it is simply the three hundred year old version of ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus!’”

The spokesman added: “There are chapters in the book dedicated to the physical differences, mental and emotional differences between the sexes.

“When we read this book from a 21st century perspective where women are equal to men, the author’s description of either sex is almost comedic, even though it was always intended as a serious text.

“This book is a primary source of information about social depictions of the sexes in the 17th century, making it very important.”

The pages of the book have yellowed with age and are showing some signs of worm, but the original brown covers are present and it is perfectly readable.

Auctioneers estimate the book will see for between £200 and £300.

For more information contact Duke’s on 01305 265080 or email amy.brenan@dukes-auctions.com

Comments (1)

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10:53am Sat 29 Mar 14

Sigurd Hoberth says...

Not actually read it but heard it quoted. It would be interesting to read it and compare it to other publications. I am interested to see how much of the poison of chivalry was alive then and enslaving men. I suspect this book is part of such poison rather then telling you about it. Actually the "unknown history of Misandry" is a good site to check if you want to see more about that sort of thing, but more honest.
Not actually read it but heard it quoted. It would be interesting to read it and compare it to other publications. I am interested to see how much of the poison of chivalry was alive then and enslaving men. I suspect this book is part of such poison rather then telling you about it. Actually the "unknown history of Misandry" is a good site to check if you want to see more about that sort of thing, but more honest. Sigurd Hoberth
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