Back to Barbarism. Marriage Unnatural—Divorce Natural. Curious Marriage and Divorce Customs in Ancient and Modern Times. [Wrapper title; variant caption title, Back to Barbarism. Marriage Not Natural—Divorce Natural. Curious Marriage and Divorce Customs in Ancient and Modern Times.]

St. Louis: n. p., 1910. First edition. Small 8vo, original printed blue wrappers, 32 pages. A little soiled, worn, and sunned; a very good copy. Item #17211

“Wherever Rousseauism has gained a foothold, the divorce evil has grown beyond bounds; and after the patient toil of nineteen centuries in which the Church has snatched so large a portion of humanity from barbarism, with a fair promise to redeem also the rest in due time, we see ourselves confronted by the sad spectacle of Naturalism hurling us back to Barbarism.” A detailed, statistics-driven and anthropological look at marriage, arguing against divorce. Arnoux seems the epitome of a certain American conservatism, where a minor exiled nobleman somewhat down at the heels might level a somewhat finicking last-ditch attack against the coming of modernism by investing the twin salients of Rousseau and modern science; copyright records note the 1911 publication of Poems by C. E. d’Arnoux of St. Louis (by a Boston vanity press), giving his full name as above and a birth year of 1858, the somewhat more modestly anglicized Calixte Arnoux appears in late 19th and early 20th century St. Louis directories as a teacher, and burial records of the St. Louis Catholic diocese have him interred in late 1919. (Given Arnoux’s role as an everyman, one suspects the influenza epidemic carried him off.) Contemporary ink stamp at the head of the first page, “Personal Property of Richard McCulloch.” OCLC notes three locations (all in Missouri).

Price: $50.00