On les vend à Paris par Anthoine Bonnemere en L’hostel Dalebret devant sainct Hilaire, 1538.
Small 8vo of (32) ll. Full blue jansenist morocco, top edge gilt, inner gilt border. Binding by Hans Asper.
126 x 88 mm.
Unique copy in private hand mentioned and described by Tchemerzine (IV, 481) with the B.n.F. copy and the one owned by James de Rothschild, “the only one known complete with the five parts”.
« Le Premier Livre de la Metamorphose d’Ovide – 1538 – can only be found at the B.n.F., and also at the Stroehlin’s sale (binding Asper) – the present copy”. (Tchemerzine).
King Francis I promotes a strong-willed policy in favor of translations: willing to enrich French language with a constant reference to Latin, to allow it to compete with other modern languages, himself a poet and a poetry lover, he encourages all the undertakings which make the texts of antic authors accessible to French readers, and he assigns Marot to undertake the translation of Ovid’s Metamporphoses. It seems that Marot gave him a fragmentary reading in the gardens of the castle of Amboise in August 1526.
Eventually, only the first two books are published, the first one in 1534, the second one in 1543, a year before his death. Practicing Ovid exercised a crucial influence on the poetical mind of Marot who always acknowledged this inspiration.
The royal orders stimulated the production and the spread of translations in general, and particularly the ones of Virgil and Ovid’s works who, by their poetical elegance, occupy a dominant position.
Precious copy, very wide-margined, the only one mentioned and described by Tchemerzine, coming from the collections E. Stroehlin and Zanicki with ex libris.