lineThe Novel

M[anedville]., B[ernard].
The Mysteries of Virginity (London: J. Morphew/ A. Dodd, 1714).

THE| MYSTERIES| OF| VIRGINITY:| OR,| A full Discovery of the DIFFERENCE| Between Young Maids and Old Ones.| Set forth in several Diverting Dialogues| of the Female Sex,| ON| Love and Gallantry,| Marriage and single Life,| Dress and Behaviour,| Batchellors and Husbands,| Beauty and Courtship| Plays and Musick.| With many other curious Subjects| relating to Young Women not enter'd into| the State of MATRIMONY.| [rule]| LONDON,| Printed: And sold by J. Morphew near| Stationers-Hall, and A. Dodd with-|out Temple-Bar, 1714.


titlepage/ [10] pp. preface signed: B[ernard]. M[andeville]./ [18] pp. Contents & Errata/ p.1-214/ [2] pp. blank/ [16] pp. books published by W. Taylor/ 8°.


{7: 8°Philos.VI,8945} {L: C.124.e.27}

Bibliographical Reference

B. Fabian (1988).


Mandeville, Bernard, 1670-1733

History of Publication

Cf. first edition: The virgin unmasked (1709).link


A book with numerous gratifications one might expect from a novel. The preface is written in an attempt not to write a preface, the author has, however, to obey the publisher - the contents is less interesting than the interaction performed with elegance and style. The dialogue playfully circles around physical attractivity – we are not told how much is to be seen of Antonia, we only hear her aunt, a spinster scornful of all men, offering Antonia a hankerchief to cover herself (which she rejects as it is not clean any longer) - the very next moment we are in the middle of a dialogue about nakedness. The young atractive lady is played off against the old spinster, who sees men as opressors, which leads into a longer passage against Louis' XIV despotism. Two stories (about maritial relationships) go over a couple of dialogues, the first (p.109) is classified by Antonia as a "novel".