First edition of the most famous work by Miss L’Héritier, Charles Perrault’s niece and forerunner to the fairy tales genre in France.
Barbier, p. 724;
For the writing of this work, Marie-Jeanne L’Héritier claims she got her inspiration from an old chronicle by Richard the Lionheart who would have created two tales, ‘La robe de sincérité’ and ‘Ricdin-Ricdon’ in order to provide an entertainment during his detention by the Saracens and would have told them to his loyal Blondel who had managed to get into his cell.”
Sempère, E., De la merveille à l’inquiétude : le registre du fantastique dans la fiction narrative au XVIIIe siècle, p. 248.
“Marie-Jeanne L’Héritier de Villandon (1664-1734) was the daughter of the poet Nicolas Lhéritier de Villandon and author of various prose and verse publications. In the preface to ‘La Tour Ténébreuse’ she names some of her sources, including a privately-owned manuscript of 1308, the ‘Chronique et Fabliaux de la Composition de Richard Roy d’Angleterre’ […] ‘La Tour Ténébreuse’ was intended as the first of two or more books using the framework of Richard’s imprisonment. Most of the volume consists of two stories of her own invention.”
Charlton, D. Grétry and the growth of Opéra-comique, p. 229.
“Fed with literature, Marie-Jeanne L’Héritier de Villandon, whose father was Louis XIII’s historiographer, became famous thanks to a very abundant work, genuine product of the salon she used to attend in the company of Charles Perrault, his uncle, Mrs d’Aulnoy, Miss Murat, Miss de Scudéry. […]Miss de L’Héritier is a forerunner character in the fashion of fairy tales, publishing from 1695 her first two fairy tales inserted in her ‘Oeuvres mêlées’.[…] As a fairy tales author, we owe her the introduction of this genre into the society salons, defending its modernity and encouraging Charles Perrault in the path of fairy tales.”
Portraits of authors for the B.n.F exhibition regarding Fairy Tales.
The work is illustrated with 5 folding plates of music score engraved by Roussel
A very fine copy preserved in its contemporary binding.