Les Epistres de Maître François Rabelais, Docteur en Médecine, escrites pendant son voyage d’Italie.

Price : 3.500,00 

First edition of Rabelais's ‘Epistres’ written during his trip to Italy.
 A superb copy with wide margins.

1 in stock

SKU: LCS-18482 Categories: ,

Paris, Charles de Sercy, 1651.

8vo of (20) preliminary ll. including the engraved frontispiece, 75 numbered pages, (9) ll. of table, 197 pages misnumbered 191 and (18) ll., the last one blank.

Full red morocco, triple gilt fillet around the covers, decorated ribbed spine, gilt inner border, gilt edges. Signed binding by Trautz-Bauzonnet, circa 1860.

166 x 108 mm.

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First edition of these letters addressed by Rabelais to Godefroy d’Estissac, bishop of Maillezais, during his trip to Italy.

Tchemerzine, V, 323 ; De Backer, I, 287.

Around 1520, Rabelais is a monk at the Cordeliers of Fontenay-le-Comte. Persecuted in his convent, he entered the monastery of Maillezais in Poitou, protected by Geoffroy d’Estissac, prior and bishop of this Benedictine abbey. After becoming a Benedictine monk himself, Rabelais became attached to Geoffroy d’Estissac and served as his secretary until 1526. He kept up a regular correspondence with the man he considered his first protector.

In 1530 Rabelais moved to Montpellier and studied medicine, becoming a doctor at the Hôtel-Dieu in Lyon in 1532.

It was early in 1534 that Rabelais left Lyon for Italy, as a doctor attached to Cardinal du Bellay. From August 1535 to May 1536, Rabelais stayed in Rome to ask the Pope for permission to continue practicing medicine and to return to the Benedictine order after Gargantua and its author had been condemned.

The collection, published by the Brothers de Sainte Marthe, consists of letters sent from Italy by Rabelais to his first protector.

Divided into 16 chapters, they deal with the Pope’s relations with Charles V, the disputes between the Medici and Strozzi families, and the battles between the King of Persia and the Turks.

Much more intimate details reveal how seeds from the Pope’s secret garden at Belvedere were sent to the Bishop of Maillezay: “Legugé’s salads seem to me to be just as good, and somewhat milder and friendlier to the taste, especially of your person, as those from Naples seem to me to be too fiery and too hard…”.

“This volume is adorned with a fine frontispiece by F. Chauveau, showing a half-length portrait of Rabelais seated in front of a table and writing.” (De Backer)

A superb copy with wide margins.


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