Paris, chez Augustin Courbé, 1653.
8vo of (1) bl. l., (1) title, 590 pp, (3) ll, small lack of paper in bl. margin of p. 397, old label of Librairie Ancienne Acatélan de Nimes on the inside of the front cover with the mentions ” Rare – Complete work “. Contemporary limp vellum, flat spine with the handwritten title, small lack of vellum on the spine and in the lower part of the lower cover, mottled edges. Contemporary Binding.
167 x 114 mm.
Rare and sougth-after first edition “of this excellent piece of literary history”. (Brunet).
Brunet, IV, 475 (“it is rare and rather sought after“); Tchemerzine, II, 668.
“In this work, Pellisson introduced an unpublished quatrain by Corneille on the death of Richelieu, and fragments of Letters“. (Tchemerzine).
It is the first historiographic monument dedicated to the French Academy. The privilege was shared between Courbé and Le Petit.
One of the most representative poets of the Precious movement, Paul Pellisson devoted only a small part of his life to literature. This Protestant native of Béziers, a man of spirit and talent, settled in Paris in 1650 and bought a position as secretary to the king. He published a Relation contenant l’histoire de l’Académie française (1653) – it is rather a colloquial presentation of the Academy and its members – which gave him the privilege of being received into the company without waiting for the vacancy of a chair.
In 1653, he met Madeleine de Scudery. He will become her “tender friend”, but only after having gone through this map of tender that he will contribute to draw up; he also becomes one of the most faithful and brilliant regulars of her salon in the rue de Beauce, the “Apollon du samedi “. A better prose writer than a poet, and better serving the cause of preciousness when he exposes its doctrine than when he tries to illustrate it, he writes a remarkable Discourse which prefaces the posthumous edition of Sarasin’s works (1656). At the same time, he fulfilled his duties in such an exemplary manner that Fouquet took notice of him and in 1658 made him his first clerk, his most trusted man. From then on he absorbed himself in business and abandoned Saturdays and verses. He was dragged into the fall of the superintendent and imprisoned in 1661. He obtained his release five years later, thanks to the dignity of his attitude; by abjuring Protestantism, he returned completely in grace and became the historiographer of Louis XIV.
A precious copy preserved in its first contemporary limp vellum binding.