VOLTAIRE, François Marie Arouet. La ligue ou Henry le Grand, poème épique.

Price : 12.500,00 

First edition of “La Henriade” in extremely rare contemporary morocco with arms.
Exceptional copy of the first edition bound in contemporary armorial morocco, absolutely rare condition for this early work by Voltaire.

1 in stock

SKU: LCS-18493 Categories: , ,

Genève [Rouen], Jean Mokpap [Viret], 1723.

8vo, viii pp., 231 pp. and (1) bl. l., with a portrait of Voltaire by La Toure.

Full olive green morocco, triple gilt fillet around the covers, gilt coat of arms in the center, finely decorated ribbed spine, gilt inner border, gilt over marbled edges. Bound in contemporary morocco with arms.

184 x 113 mm.

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Exceptional copy of the first edition bound in contemporary armorial morocco, absolutely rare condition for this early work by Voltaire.

Voltaire’s original editions in armorial morocco bindings are worth up to ten times the price of the copies bound in leather.

Rare first edition secretly printed in Rouen by the bookseller Viret, Voltaire having been refused permission to print it in France.

A poem in nine parts written in alexandrines, La Ligue is a composition that skillfully blends real events with fictions drawn from the world of the marvelous.

The poem’s central subject is the siege of Paris by Henri de Navarre, the future Henri IV. Voltaire portrays an ideal sovereign, an enemy of all fanaticism. The work, reworked by the author, will be published in 1728 under the title La Henriade (Bengesco, I, 360; L’œuvre imprimée de Voltaire à la Bibliothèque Nationale, 1669).

“The work is still important today for the deep feelings of religious and civil tolerance that animate it. Henri, France’s favorite hero also personifies the type of enlightened sovereign expected by the cultured people of the time, and whose characteristics the ‘Age of Enlightenment’ would definitively establish.”

In 1584, the death of the heir to the throne François duke of Alençon, and the king’s acceptance as heir of his closest male relative, the Protestant King Henri IV, fueled tensions between Protestants and Catholics.

Henri de Guise led a new League. The League declared its desire to re-establish a single religion and remove the king from the clutches of his favorites.

It’s no coincidence that Voltaire wrote La Ligue in 1723, when the regent, the Duke of Orléans, had just died. When Louis XV came to power, he continued Louis XIV’s anti-Protestant legislation.

Voltaire wanted to dedicate his work to the young Louis XV, but the latter refused, and the censors demanded deletions from the text to which the author did not consent.

Voltaire then decided to have it secretly printed in Rouen. It was therefore in a climate of hostility to protestants that this ode to Henri IV, protestant king and hymn to tolerance was published, a veritable satire against pope Clement XI that would inflame catholic hatred.

Precious and exceedingly rare copy bound in contemporary olive green morocco with the arms of Machault d’Arnouville (1667-1750).

Louis-Charles de Machault, seigneur d’Arnouville, son of Jean-Baptiste, conseiller au Parlement de Paris, and Madeleine-Catherine de Villemontée, born on July 13, 1667, became conseiller au Grand Conseil on January 17, 1691, maître des requêtes on March 1, 1694 and intendant and conseiller du conseil de commerce; on January 28, 1718, he succeeded d’Argenson as Lieutenant General of Police for the city of Paris; having resigned this position on January 5, 1720, he was appointed Conseiller d’État the same year, head of the Council of the Duchess of Orléans and first President of the Grand Council in 1740. He died in Paris on May 10, 1750, having married Françoise Élisabeth Milon on February 19, 1709 (Olivier-Hermal, pl. 2153).

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VOLTAIRE, François Marie Arouet.


Genève [Rouen], Jean Mokpap [Viret], 1723.