Imprimé en Hollande towards 1667.
Small 12mo of 96 pages, title included, last page in 15 lines.
Full red morocco, triple gilt fillet around the covers, richly decorated ribbed spine, inner gilt border, gilt edges. Binding signed by Thibaron-Joly.
127 x 72 mm.
Absolutely rare first edition of this libertine novel in which Louis xiv is the hero and which was so much in the news in the literaryn political and bibliophilic fields.
Willems, 1770, Tchemerzine, II, 166.
Willems in his bibliography of Elzévier, reports this tasty story:
“We read in a Letter to Achille Jubinal, which is part of F. Grille’s Pêle-mêle philosophique et littéraire (Paris, 1850): ‘You who run around and unearth rarities, please tell me if you have come across a little book entitled: Les Amours du Palais Royal, which was published under Louis XIV. MM. Brunet, Beuchot, Jacob and Quérard do not mention it. This book was printed in Holland; a copy was sent to Louvois who brought it to the King, the King showed it to Mme Henriette; she was, with him, very much involved. She spoke about it to the bishop of Valence, Cosnac; the bishop disappeared and went to The Hague; after eight days he came back with the whole edition that he had bought to burn. Three copies remained, the princess had them in her hands and threw them into the fire. However they were seen; there were copies, incomplete copies on which a second edition was made, full of gaps”. Grille does not indicate where he took this piquant anecdote, but the substance is exact, and the Memoirs of Dan. de Cosnac, published in 1852, came to confirm it, at least in its main points.”
Barbier (Dictionnaire des anonymes) was also unaware of the existence of this undated original edition, and cited the two copies, dated 1667, the first, with the last page in 15 lines, the counterfeit, with the last page in 10 lines.
At Easter 1659, the Count of Bussy-Rabutin took part in an orgy at the castle of Roissy, where he outrageously and scandalously slandered the morals of the court, the king and the royal family (described later in his work “Histoire amoureuse des Gaules“). He was then condemned, three months later, to a first exile from the French Court by the young king Louis XIV, in the family castle of Bussy in his Burgundian domain.
In 1660, incorrigible, he wrote without wanting to publish his satirical and slanderous pamphlet “Histoire amoureuse des Gaules“, a chronicle about the antics of some people of the court and about the first love affairs of the young Louis XIV and Marie Mancini (niece of the cardinal – prime minister Jules Mazarin) that he ridiculed, in order to amuse his mistress, the marquise of Montglas and some of her friends. The scheming Marquise de la Baume then secretly had the work copied, then spread its publication in April 1665 in Liège, without the author’s knowledge.
The scandalous work reached the court and the young king who had the author arrested in 1666, removed him from all his offices and locked up for thirteen months in the Bastille (when he had just been elected to the French Academy) before having him exiled and disgraced for life, for the second time, in his castle in Burgundy, where he would spend seventeen years of exile and the end of his life.
The rarity of this original edition is legendary because the royal family purchased it in block to destroy it and until now, only one other copy has been recorded, that of La Villestreux and L. de Montgermont bound by Lortic in red morocco and cited by Willems and Tchemerzine.
A magnificent copy, with wide margins, bound in red morocco by Thibaron Joly.