A Lyon, à l’enseigne du Rocher, 1544.
8vo [160 x 104 mm] of 479 pp., (17) pp., 264 pp. Full red morocco, triple gilt fillet around the covers, ribbed spine richly decorated, blue morocco doublures with gilt dentelle, gilt over marbled edges. Binding signed by Belz-Niedrée.
Reference edition by, called du Rocher, one of the most precious of the Works of Clement Marot.
“Edition of most interest, because it’s the last given during Marot’s lifetime, and published by himself, it set the text and the classification adopted for later editions. This classification, in the order of genres of poetry or poems, is followed for the first time. For the first time the complete translation of the fifty psalms of David by Clément Marot is published in this edition, of which he only gave fragments in previous editions.
The printing of the volume is very neat. The mark that we see on the title and at the end is the one of the Lyonnais printer Antoine Constantin. This edition is known under the name of the edition of the Rocher, because if this mark and the words in the sign of Rocher that we can read above.
In his notice to the reader, the printer announces that the new disposition of the works has been made “under the correction and good judgement of the author…” And he adds that several works published here were never published before.
In the second part, the translation of the psalms of David is preceded with three epistles, one “To King very Christian Francis first of this name”, the second “To the King again” and the third “To the ladies of France touching the Psalms”. (J. Le Petit).
“Remarkable edition” mentions Brunet (III, 1455).
Official poet worshipped by Francis I and Charles V, Marot marks by his talent the first truly remarkable period of French poetry whose spirit will reappear with La Fontaine who will not fail to pay tribute to “Master Clément”.
His frankness of mind and tone will lead him several times to incarceration and exile.
Official poet of the court from 1527 to 1534, Marot works at inventing new genres. He is thus the inventor in France of the sonnet, imported from Italy, following Petrarch, as well as the eclogue and elegy, much prized by Latin poets.
“With his personal poetry Marot evokes what Rabelais expressed with his prose: underneath the laughs of Rabelais the great preoccupations of his time are read, under the apparent lightness of Marot’s work criticism of justice, taste of freedom, establishment of new relations between poet and king, defense of new religious ideas is read”.
The success of the poet at his time was immense and gave rise to many legends. His texts were present in all collections of the time; his translation of the Psalms served as book of prayers to all reformed church; but the legend also retains the image of the poet fighting in the manner of Villon.
Precious wide-margined copy of one of the main books of the French language of the 16th century preserved in its Parisian binding in red morocco with blue morocco doublures.
Provenance: from the libraries R. Grandsire and L. Michaud with ex libris.