(WILLIAM OF ORANGE). [ARNAULD, Antoine, attributed to]. ~ Le véritable Portrait de Guillaume-Henry de Nassau, nouvel Absalon, nouvel Hérode, nouveau Cromvvel, nouveau Néron. [N.p., nd., ?Paris, 1689].
12mo (135 × 75 mm), pp. 132. Title and drophead titles in red and black. Slight browning. Nineteenth-century diced russia, gilt. Slight chip to foot of spine, but an excellent copy.
A violent satire against William of Orange, who had become King of England in 1688. Branded ‘Jesuitical’ by its detractors, it was countered by a pamphlet by Jurieu which appeared in English as A Defence of Their Majesties King William and Queen Mary, Against an Infamous and Jesuitical Libel (1689). Several editions of Le véritable Portrait appeared in the same year, probably all surreptitiously, including one with a Brussels imprint; ours is generally considered French. All issues are rare.
Pierre Bayle wrote to Claude Nicaise in June 1689: ‘Je voudrois bien savoir (et personne ne peut mieux satisfaire à ma curiosité que vous Monsieur) qui est l’auteur de l’ecrit qu’on a envoié par la poste de vos quartiers intitulé Portrait veritable de Henry Guillaume de Nassau nouvel Absalon etc. je l’ai trouvé incomparable en son genre (mettant à part le fond de la chose) pour le tour, le stile, et le feu’. Brunet V, 1141, this edition, but mentioning others with differing paginations; Lowndes cites the 1689 ‘Bruxelles’ 12mo edition; cf Cioranescu I, 233, 8vo, pp. 96. Worldcat lists only a handful of copies of any issue. In the US, we find copies at Newberry and Michigan only (both of our issue). Libraryhub lists no UK copy.