VILLEGOMBLAIN, François Racine de. Les Mémoires des Troubles arrivés en France, Sous les Regnes des Rois Charles IX, Henry III & Henry IV avec les Voyages des Sieurs de Mayenne & de Ioyeuse, au Levant & en Poictou.


First edition of Villegomblain’s memoirs describing the wars of religion that devastated France in the second half of the 16th century. A nice copy preserved in its pure contemporary vellum.

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Paris, Jean Guignard, fils, 1667-1668.

3 parts bound in 1 volume 12 mo [139 x 76 mm] of: I/ (6) ll., 477 pp., (1) bl.l. ; II/ (1) l., 240 pp. ; III/ 159 pp. Bound in full contemporary stiff vellum, flat spine with the title handwritten, mottled edges. Contemporary binding.

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First edition of this “rather peculiar work” (Brunet) dedicated to France history and to the wars of religion that devastated the kingdom in the second half of the 16th century.

This copy belongs to the expurgated issue, with the parts too critical towards the king Henry IV removed.

Rahir, 1621 ; Brunet, V, 1238, Graesse, Trésor de livres rares et précieux, VI, p. 322.

« A curious work of which it’s difficult to find the three parts together. It was published by Rivaudas de Villegomblain, the author’s nephew”. (Catalogue du baron de Ruble, n°608).

« These memoirs are rather peculiar, and as they were never published again, copies of this first edition are hard to find ». (Dubure, Bibliographie instructive, n°5278).

« These memoirs, interesting to consult regarding military events, are written by Villegomblain, a good officer who served under the three reigns of the kings Charles IX, Henry III & Henry IV. Most of the time he speaks as an eyewitness. Villegomblain took part in the battle of Coutras, of which he gives a very good description”. (Anquetil, L’Esprit de la ligue, p. xlvi)

Villegomblain came from Blois and he was born in the middle of the sixteenth century. He entered the army and served in the various wars that devastated France at this time. […] He died around 1630. He left his ‘Mémoires des troubles arrivés en France sous les règnes des rois Charles IX, Henri III et Henri IV’, that were published after his death by his nephew, Rivaudas de Villegomblain. They are well written and contain many interesting details about the main events that happened from 1562 to 1602 ».(Biographie universelle, vol. 49, p. 19).

At first, the second part of the Memoires of Villegomblain was composed of 296 pages. But the author was accused of revealing Henry IV’s faults, and “the last 80 pages of this second part were removed from almost every copy as they contained some bold passages about Henry IV, and they were replaced by another shorter end, and that part was then reduced to 240 pp”. (Brunet).

Villegomblain’s memoirs account for the epoch of the wars of religion that devastated France.

The author gives evidence, in an objective and often virulent way, not only of military events in which he took part from 1562 to 1602, but he also describes royal and nobiliary figures of the time.

A nice copy of these historical Memoirs preserved in their pure contemporary vellum.

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VILLEGOMBLAIN, François Racine de.