GOLDEN COCKEREL PRESS. SAINSBURY, Hester. ~ Lucina sine Concubito: a letter humbly addressed to the Royal Society; in which is proved by most incontestable evidence, drawn from Reason and Practice, that a Woman may conceive and be brought to Bed without any Commerce with Man.
Printed from the edition of 1750. 3 copper engravings by Hester Sainsbury. One of 500 copies printed on English hand-made paper in Caslon O.F. Type. 12mo., original parchment backed patterned paper covered boards (the patterns are to depict the animalcula shaped like miniature men and women), spine lettered in gilt, top edge gilt, others untrimmed. Very slight darkening to free endpapers, otherwise an extremely good copy.
The book was written by John Hill as a hoax on the Royal Society in revenge for rejecting him from membership. The ‘premise’ was that women could become pregnant without intercourse due floating animalcula in the air which were shaped like miniature men and women - a satire on the ‘spermist’ theory that sperm were actually little men or ‘hormonculi’.
The hilarious conclusion is that for the purpose of experiment, royal edict should be signed banning sexual intercourse for a year.