courtly and erotic
LE PAYS, René, Sieur du Plessis-Villeneuve. ~ Amitiez, amours et amourettes… ‘Grenoble, & se vend a Paris’: Charles de Sercy, 1664.
12mo (143 × 72 mm.), pp. [xl], 468, . Additional engraved title with scribing putti by N. Auroux, woodcut ornaments throughout. Engraved title just trimmed at outer margin and slightly cockled, title and first leaf of text with early inscriptions rather heavily cancelled in ink at an early date, leaving minor inkstains to opposing leaves (slightly affecting engraved title), upper margin of the ‘Epistre’ cut away, presumably removing another inscription, upper forecorner of pp. 175-6 torn away, touching pagination, generally clean and crisp. Contemporary mottled calf, gilt panelled spine with 5 raised bands, red morocco label, red edges, silk marker. Rubbed with minor chips to head of spine, wants binder’s blanks at both front and rear. Despite the noted faults, a good copy.
A rare and celebrated courtly collection of amatory letters and verses. It was reprinted numerous times (several editions appeared in the same year). Le Pays’ post as a government official at Grenoble apparently left him ample leisure for literary composition, and this, his best-known work was much admired by the duchesse de Nemours, who became his patron. Several of the 1664 editions bear identical or very similar imprints, Gay denotes our edition (with the Sercy imprint) the second. Despite the number of editions, legitimate or pirated, printed in the same year all are now very rare outside France.
Gay I, 99. COPAC gives Oxford as the only location of a 1664 edition, probably a second edition also.The Catalogue Collectif de France lists 3 copies only with our imprint. OCLC gives just 3 locations for 1664 editions (Cornell, Library of Congress, Washington & Lee University).