Fiorentino, Giovanni: Il Pecorone di ser Giovanni Fiorentino, nel quale si contengono cinquanta novelle antiche, belle d'inventione et di stile.
In Milano, appresso di Giovann' Antonio de gli Antonij, 1554 (but probably Lucca, c. 1740). 8vo. [ii] + x pp. + ff. , 4-228. Woodcut printer’s device on title and final leaf.
Entirely uncut in contemporary paper boards, ms title on spine, spine darkened, slight wear and soiling. Occasional insiginificant spots and stains, but an attractive copy.
The date of publication is false, supported by archaic typography, and according to Brunet the book was actually printed at Lucca c. 1740. The first edition of the book appeared only in 1558, which the forgery purports to predate by four years, creating a spurious first edition.
Little is known of the author, who was active in the late 14th century. This collection of prose tales (”The Dunce”) was very popular; the first story on the fourth day, describing a Jewish money lender demanding a pound of flesh from his Christian debtor, is believed to be the basis of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice.
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