“First critical and commented edition of Rabelais; it has been given by Le Duchat, in collaboration with La Monnoye.”
Tchemerzine, V, 319; Plan n°133.
It is preceded by a foreword by Le Duchat and a note on Rabelais’ life. The 6th part also encloses a 67-page alphabet dedicated to the explanation of the terms used by Rabelais in his Works.
The edition is illustrated with a portrait of the author engraved by W. de Broen, with 4 folding engravings, including a large map of the region of Chinon (285 x 207 mm), a representation of la Devinière (210 x 158 mm), an engraving of la Chambre de Rabelais (Rabelais’s bedroom) (175 x 158 mm) and a folding engraving picturing the outside of la Devinière and the garden, as well as a full page figure representing la Dive bouteille.
The copy encloses the remarks of the first state with the frontispiece and the portrait of the author signed by de Broen.
Ancient editions of Rabelais’s Works are all very sought-after.
Very seducing copy, very pure, of this first critical illustrated edition of Rabelais’ Works, bound at the time in fawn glazed calf with the arms of Armand-Jean de Vignerot du Plessis, duc de Richelieu (1631-1715).
Armand-Jean de Vignerot du Plessis, prince de Mortagne, duc de Fronsac, duc de Richelieu, was the eldest son of François II, marquis de Pontcourlay, governor of Le Havre, and of Marie-Françoise de Guemadeuc. Born in Le Havre on October 3rd, 1631, he first joined Church and received the abbey of Saint-Ouen in Rouen, of which he then resigned from to become general of the galleys in January 1643, lieutenant general for the King on the Levant seas, governor of Le Havre after his father’s death in 1646, and duke and peer of France at the same date: he resigned from his position as a governor of the galleys in July 1661, was named Knight of Honour of the Dauphine in December 1679, function he filled until January 1684, and was named knight of the Holy Spirit in June 1691. He died on May 10th, 1717, at the age of 83, after marrying three times: on December 26th, 1649 with Anne Poussart du Vigean, first lady-in-waiting of the Queen, on July 30th, 1684 with Anne-Marguerite d’Acigné; and on March 20th, 1702 with Marguerite-Thérèse Rouillé de Meslay, widow of the marquis de Noailles. He had inherited the book collection of the Cardinal that he bequeathed to the Sorbonne, according to the Cardinal’s wish.