Cologne, Pierre Van Dyck, 1662.
12mo [128 x 67 mm] of (2) ll., 400 pp. Bound at the time without the errata l. Bound in contemporary citron morocco, triple gilt fillet around the covers, spine ribbed and finely decorated, gilt inner border, gilt edges. Contemporary binding.
Precious first edition of these famous dissertations on one of the most feverish and confused periods of the history of France.
Tchemerzine, IV, 25; Brunet, III, 848.
Printed at Foppers in Brussels, it is preceded by a “Notice” from the editor who apologizes for the mistakes contained in this “first edition”, due to the precipitation with which he had to make the first printing to satisfy the eagerness of the public. These mistakes will be corrected in the following editions. The fleuron with a buffalo head on page 1 is placed as it should be, while it is upside down in the second edition, however there is no errata l. and the mistakes haven’t been corrected. It is therefore a copy from the first issue, with the mistakes pointed out in the errata, but bound at the time without this errata l.
Pages 387 to 400 contain the Letters from Cardinal Mazarin and Mr. de la Chastre to Mr. de Brienne.
These famous dissertations cover the period 1624-1652 and depict the main protagonists of the Fronde.
Only the excerpts coming from clandestine copies were printed during La Rochefoucauld’s lifetime who strongly feared the resentment of people of whom he revealed the intrigues some of them tawdry.
Madame de Chevreuse, of whom the writer was fond of upon her arrival to the court takes a prominent place in the Memoirs, it is her who had encouraged Buckingham to court the Queen Anne of Austria. La Rochfoucauld recounts this adventure of which he knew the detail and it is in his text that Alexandre Dumas drew certain episodes of the Three Musketeers and in particular that of the diamond studs.
Disappointed not to see his commitment to the Queen rewarded and hated by Mazarin, La Rochefoucauld would then turn to Condé and Conti and conceive a violent passion for Madame de Longueville, sister of these two princes.
“By their historical and psychological interest, by their elegant and well-built style, these ‘Memoirs’ are at the forefront of the literary genre they represent”. (Laffont-Bompiani).
Precious copy particularly wide-margined of this sought-after first edition.
It is so rare in contemporary morocco that neither Brunet, nor Deschamps, nor Tchemerzine or Rochebiliere mention copies bound as such.
Provenance: from the library of the writer L. S. Auger with ex libris.