Paris, N. Pepingué, 1665.
12mo [146 x 82 mm] of (2) ll., (10) ll., 46pp., (2) bl.ll. Handwritten notes on the blank margin. Bound in full burgundy morocco, richly decorated covers with gilt double fillets and border, large “C” initials interlaced and crowned on the corners within a gilt palm leaves pattern, large gilt coat of arms on the center, spine ribbed and richly decorated. Contemporary binding.
Rare first edition of Boursault’s rarest theater play, which was represented in the theater of the Hotel de Bourgogne in 1665. Brunet, I, 1183.
For this three-act comedy in verse, “the author drew his subject from the poem of the abbot de Cerisy. To take his revenge on Philis for preferring Daphnis, Apollo poisoned the water of a fountain where the two lovers must go drink. Daphnis dies, and Philis, carried away by the winds, meets again her shepherd in the Olympus, where Jupiter unites them, and changes in stars the eyes of the Shepherdess. The character of the two lovers offers a mix between tenderness and naivety, between nature and sensibility…” (Annales dramatiques ou Dictionnaire général des théâtres, p. 591)
“Boursault (1638-1701) is one of those dramatic authors who, in the 17th century, were fashionable for lack of fame, and whose some productions are still esteemed. When he came in Paris in 1651 he still only knew the patois of his province: a few years later, he had become a writer remarkable enough that he was appointed to write a book for the education of the Dauphin. Boursault was appreciated for the qualities of his heart as well as the qualities of his mind; his honest and open mind got him a lot of friends. He was linked with many men of letters of his time, except Moliere”.
A precious and beautiful dedication copy bound in contemporary burgundy morocco with a delicate lacework, with the arms and cipher of the marquis of Castelnau, the play’s dedicatee.
It comes from the famous Soleinne collection “Dedication copy. – This play, which Boileau made such fun of, and which is copied after a poem by Cerisey, seems to be the rarest of Boursault’s theater”. (Collection Soleinne, I, n°1357).
Jacques de Castelnau (1620-1658), marquis of Castelnau, grand-son of Michel de Castelnau, is a French aristocrat and military of the 17th century. He distinguishes himself during the Thirty Years’ War as a general lieutenant of the King’s armies in Flandres, and is promoted as Marshal of France in 1658.
Provenance: Soleinne‘s collection.