Maillé, Jean Moussat, 1616-1620.
3 folio volumes [310 x 202 mm] of: I/ 365 pp., (14) ll., (1) bl. l. ; II/ 489 pp., (7) ll. ; III/ 549 pp., (7) ll. Mottled brown calf, double gilt fillets on the covers, spine ribbed and decorated with gilt fleurons, mottled edges. Small tear on a joint. Contemporary binding.
“First edition, extremely rare. Only a few copies that escaped fire” mentions Tchemerzine.
The History of France narrated by Aubigné is above all the one of the Protestant France of which Henri IV, king of Béarn, embodies the central character.
“The book is animated by a great flame, the author showing in his work, an uncommon sense of the historian dignity for his time.”
This important historical work, which is a lifetime’s work, was published at Agrippa d’Aubigné’s own expenses.
The first 2 volumes are published in Maillé, with royal privilege in 1616 and 1618.
The passion carries away the author during the writing of the 3rd volume and his partisanship prevents Aubigné from getting the essential privilege. The author decides to disregard it and publishes the volume at the beginning of the year 1620. From January 4th the Parliament sentences the entire work to be burnt by the fire. Aubigné himself, involved in the princes’ conspiracy against de Luynes, was sentenced to death for the fourth time, and obliged to leave an absolutely monarchic and catholic France, for Geneva.
Bibliographers are unanimous in stressing the high scarcity of this first edition.
Tchemerzine (I, 164) emphasizes it in those terms: “First edition, extremely rare, of this work. As soon as published a verdict of January 2nd 1620, sentenced the work to be burnt; only a few copies escaped fire.”
Brunet (I, 545) adds: “This work is written with much freedom, and it contains many peculiar facts of which the author was a witness. This edition was barely published that a verdict on January 2nd 1620 sentenced the work to be burnt by the executioner’s hand, so that copies have become rare.”
“The Foreword of this work is the first edition of the ‘Lettre du sieur d’Aubigné sur quelques histoires de France et sur la sienne’. This letter was printed since then under the title ‘Lettre du sieur d’Aubigné à la postérité’.” Tchemerzine.
A seducing and pure wide-margined copy preserved in its attractive contemporary bindings.