Paris, Augustin Courbé, 1649.
4to [168 x 220 mm] of (10) ll., 328 pp., small wormhole in the blank margin in pp. 143 to 150 and 293 to 308. Contemporary limp vellum, flat spine with the title written in ink on the top. Contemporary binding.
Rare first edition of this poetry collection by Georges de Scudéry, dedicated to the Duke de Richelieu. Tchemerzine, V, 775 ; Brunet, V, 250.
“A copy bound in fawn calf was sold alone 37 fr. 50 c. Giraud” (Brunet), a considerable prix for the time.
This poetic collection draws the author’s journey and friendships, we indeed find texts dedicated to places that are close to his heart or verses inspired by personalities of the time such as Mlle de Clermont D’Antragues, Me la Marquises de Rambouillet, feu Mr le Marquis de Pisani, Mr le Duc de Richelieu…
“When in 1649 Georges de Scudéry has his ‘Poésies Diverses’ printed, he gives the production of his full poetic maturity: by the themes treated as well as by the mastery of the versification, he gives the proof of a long experience of life and poetic writing. The sensibility of the poet and his permanent attention to the refined taste of his audience make of this collection one of the best done of its time and put the author, judged by his contemporaries, and whatever may Boileau say after, amongst the best versifiers of the first half of the century.” (Travaux de Littérature. Libr. Droz).
Many of the poems enclosed in this compilation were a huge success, in particular l’Amour tyrannique.
Georges de Scudéry (1601-1667) left when he was thirty the military state to dedicate himself to literature. He came back to Paris where he started a literary career, but his pretentions are no mean:
Il est peu de beaux arts ou je ne fusse instruit ; En prose comme en vers mon nom fit quelque bruit Et par plus d’un chemin je parvins à la gloire.
“Scudéry has much more than Voiture the sense of poetry. We have to rank him, with Colletet and Théophile amongst the last poets in the style of Ronsard that keep a touch of real lyrisim (…) The situation of Scudéry, that Chapelain named the Apollon du Marais was then so shiny, that this letters braggart thought himself allowed to start the most famous literary quarrel : the quarrel of the Cid. Compatriot and friend of Corneille, having started at the same time in the theater, he had first acclaimed the newborn star “The sun has risen, disappear, stars.” But after the huge success of the Cid, “the star hurts his eyes”, said Corneille, Scudéry starts his ‘Observations on the Cid’. Richelieu six months later had arbitrated the Corneille Scudéry case by the Academy. Chapelain writes ‘les Sentiments de l’Académie sur le Cid’, mean judgment, which avoided to tip the scales too much in favor of one of the opponents.”(Dictionnaire des lettres françaises. Le XVIIe siècle, p. 1665).
Precious and very pure copy preserved in its contemporary limp vellum binding.
Provenance: from the P. Bourgeois. D. M. M. library with engraved ex-libris, another one made of unidentified interlaced initials.