GODARD, Jean. La Nouvelle Muse, ou, les Loisirs de Jean Godard, parisien.
[Followed by]: L’H Françoise de Jean Godard parisien. Lyon, Claude Morillon, 1618.
Small 8vo [172 x 101 mm] of 226 pp., (18) ll. Stain on p.34, pale angular waterstain, old handwritten inscription in ink at the back of the last leaf. Bound in full brown glazed calf, blind-stamped fillet on the covers, flat spine decorated with gilt fleurons, red morocco lettering-piece, red edges. Joints slightly rubbed. Binding from the 18th century.
Rare original edition of this collection containing many poetic pieces by Jean Godard: elegies, trophies to Henry IV, odes or stanzas about ambition, mischief, temperance, courtesy…
Jean Godard, a French poet born in Paris on September 15th, 1564, was a lieutenant general at Ribemont bailiwick; he died in 1630.
“He spent a great part of his life in Villefranche in Beaujolais; but in remembrance of his hometown, he took the title of Parisian on the frontispiece of his works. They provided him with a brilliant reputation…; he was even placed at Ronsard’s level; it was then the last word in term of praise.” (Biographie générale, XX, 878)
At the end of the present edition there is a speech in prose on the letter H entitled L’H françoise, which contains interesting observations.
“Jean Godard, both a scholar and a cheerful spirit, dedicates to du Vair, Keeper of the Seals in France, a treatise on French language more particularly dedicated to the spelling and which contains instructive details. Without being possibly declared innovative, since a great freedom of spelling was accepted then, we will judge the one he adopts in his book and the spirit with which it is written.” (Firmin-Didot, Observations sur l’orthographe française, p. 213-216)
“Godard was a grammarian: he composed a ‘discours sur la lettre h’, which contains very new observations for that time, from which we can still benefit today.” (Catalogue Viollet Le Duc, I, p. 434)
In Godard’s love poems we recognize the influence of Ronsard and Desportes.
A fine copy of this rare literary first edition, preserved in its elegant glazed calf binding from the 18th century.