[Geneva], Excudebat Antonius Rebulius, 1561.
Large 8vo [190 x 120 mm] of (15) ll., (1) bl.l., 980 pp., (34) ll. of index. Small stain on the last ll. and index, first blank endleaf covered with contemporary manuscript annotations, handwritten ex-libris on the title.
Overlapping limp vellum, remains of ties, flat spine with handwritten title at the head. Contemporary binding.
First 8vo edition of the definitive text of Calvin’s manifesto which was about to shake the religious and political Europe.
Second definitive edition, in any format, published during the author’s lifetime.
Bibliotheca Calviniana, n°61/15.
Calvin (1509-1564) worked his entire life on this fundamental work, of which the double text, in French and Latin is by him. He kept enlarging it, revising it, concerned of maintaining the balance of the work. The first edition, in Latin, was published in 1536 in Basel. In Strasbourg, in 1539, a second Latin edition was published, already much enlarged. The first French edition is dated 1541, in Strasbourg, though it does not bear a date nor a place of publication. The Latin text was revised again in the 1543 and 1550 editions, and the French text in the 1545 and 1551 editions. The definitive text is the one from the Latin edition of 1559, in Geneva.
L’Institution is preceded by a foreword-letter to Francis I, written in Basel on August 1st 1536, and that is rightfully famous.
“L’Institution” is not only a big event in the history of religions, philosophy, politics. The importance of the book is essential in the history of the French language.”
A wide-margined copy, enriched with handwritten notes from the 16th century, preserved in its contemporary original limp vellum binding.