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  • [Transcripts from Sloane and Harley Manuscripts in the British Museum. by (ARMORIALS). EEDES, James, transcriber. (ARMORIALS). EEDES, James, transcriber. ~ [Transcripts from Sloane and Harley Manuscripts in the British Museum. c. 1880].
    Extensive antiquarian transcripts from manuscript armorials and visitation documents (mainly sixteenth- and seventeenth-century) in the British Museum. Including Harleian MSS 1174, 1397, 1561, 4756, 7565,… (more)

    Extensive antiquarian transcripts from manuscript armorials and visitation documents (mainly sixteenth- and seventeenth-century) in the British Museum. Including Harleian MSS 1174, 1397, 1561, 4756, 7565, 1045, 1301 and Sloane MSS 4972-3. Evidently once part of a larger sequence, the volumes are marked VIII and IX respectively.

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  • La jeune Tarentine. by CHÉNIER, André Marie. CHÉNIER, André Marie. ~ La jeune Tarentine. [France, March 1919].
    A beguiling anonymous illustrated manuscript with painted miniatures on vellum. The text is a poem by French poet of Greek and Franco-Levantine origin, Chénier (1762-94)… (more)

    A beguiling anonymous illustrated manuscript with painted miniatures on vellum. The text is a poem by French poet of Greek and Franco-Levantine origin, Chénier (1762-94) who perished under the guillotine during the Terror. Praised as a precursor of the Romantics, his work was rediscovered and published during the nineteeth century. His exotic subjects, coupled with his tragic end made him a favourite among devotees of the decadent.

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  • Lowesby Hall [and] The Vision of St. Stephens. by BROMLEY-DAVENPORT, William. BROMLEY-DAVENPORT, William. ~ Lowesby Hall [and] The Vision of St. Stephens. [1904].
    An attractive manuscript, apparently executed by Jermyn Moorsom (d.1951), brother of Raisley Stuart Moorsom (1892–1981, a member of the Bloomsbury set), and comprising two foxhunting… (more)

    An attractive manuscript, apparently executed by Jermyn Moorsom (d.1951), brother of Raisley Stuart Moorsom (1892–1981, a member of the Bloomsbury set), and comprising two foxhunting poems by the Victorian MP William Bromley-Davenport.

    ‘Lowesby Hall’—after Tennyson’s Locksley Hall—is, according to the sporting novelist George Whyte-Melville, ‘the best parody in the English language’.

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  • [Account book. by (POLICE). CLARKE, A.E.W, Police Constable no 136. (POLICE). CLARKE, A.E.W, Police Constable no 136. ~ [Account book. Northamptonshire, England]. 1900-1931.
    The personal account book of an English provincial bobby posted in Northamptonshire (variously at Northampton, Kettering, Oundle, Paulerspury, Daventry, East Haddon and Naseby) recording every… (more)

    The personal account book of an English provincial bobby posted in Northamptonshire (variously at Northampton, Kettering, Oundle, Paulerspury, Daventry, East Haddon and Naseby) recording every arrest he made in the course of a 32-year career.

    After early stints in Northampton and Kettering, Clarke’s experience was based in smaller villages and his notebook is a valuable and grimly fascinating account of English rural life at the opening of the twentieth century. The crimes here records include drunkenness, obscenity, vagrancy, poaching, gambling, begging, petty theft, domestic abuse, animal cruelty, unlicensed use of firearms, bicycle and motoring offences and playing football on the highway. Clarke was an assiduous recorder, itemising every arrest and its outcome, then, at the end of the year making a final reckoning. So, for the year 1911 he sums up, in red ink: ‘24 proceeded against. 15 fined £10,18.0. 5 sent to prison 16 months 21 days. 1 dismissed. 2 warned of reward. I bound over for 12 months’. The hundreds of arrests made over the course of his career is totalled in pencil at the end: ‘32 years service, Cases 523, Fines £359.15.5. Sent to Prison 53 years 6 months 0 weeks 5 days. Pay £5272. 5 [shillings]. 7 1/2 [pence].

    One interesting development charted here is, of course, the rise of motor transport and its attendant offences. In the early years Clarke apprehends very few motorists (but rather more cyclists), while towards 1930 the vast majority of his successes (and revenue) involve reckless and speeding drivers from all over England. A few excerpts give a flavour:

    ‘October 30th [1900] Danile Bailey John Abrahams Edward Smith & Jim Mallard charged with stealing Fruit valued 5/- the property of Jethro Johnson Fine and Costs 7/6 each.’

    ‘Dec 16th [1900] Frederick Albert Coe, scholar, age 13 Abbey St Daventry Charged with stealing a Dutch Cheese Valued 2/6 the property of Messrs Bayley Brothers & was ordered to receive 6 strokes with Birch’.

    ‘March 3d [1901] Richard Clarke Cycle Maker Coventry charged with being a wandering Lunatic at Daventry committed to Berrywood Asylum’.

    ‘19 August [1909] Fred[eric]k Juggings... Commercial Traveller charged with Indecently assaulting Mollie Simpson age 5 yrs at Weston Favell. Fine £2.10.0 costs 6/-’

    ‘June 17 [1914] Lady Mabel Gore Langton Cosgrove Hall charged with keeping 5 male servants with 3 licences. Cautioned.’

    ‘Jan 27 [1917] William Lee, Cold Ashby, charge with supplying to [sic] wounded soldiers with whisky. Fined £10.’

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  • [Copybook. by BLUNDELL, William. BLUNDELL, William. ~ [Copybook. Sussex, 1868].
    A typical Victorian handwriting copybook, devoting a page to each letter of the alphabet, with a single sentence, phrase or word repeated over several lines,… (more)

    A typical Victorian handwriting copybook, devoting a page to each letter of the alphabet, with a single sentence, phrase or word repeated over several lines, the text of varying size. ‘All thy commandments are righteousness’; ‘Be ye angry and sin not’; ‘Fulminate’; ‘Knowledge is Power’, ‘Mathematician’; ‘Obrometer’, ‘Vice is attended with sorrow’; ‘X begins no word in the English language’. The sequence is broken in two places, with 2 pages of elementary mathematical exercises, and the last page is signed ‘William Blundell June 29th 1868 in Sussex’.

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  • Le Jardin des caresses. by TOUSSAINT, Franz. TOUSSAINT, Franz. ~ Le Jardin des caresses. May [-June], 1936
    An autograph copy of a classic text of French orientalism, made by the author for his wife and inscribed ‘À Etelka, ma femme bien-aimée, qui… (more)

    An autograph copy of a classic text of French orientalism, made by the author for his wife and inscribed ‘À Etelka, ma femme bien-aimée, qui est pour moi toute la splendour du monde et toute la poësie. Franz Toussaint. Mai 1936.’

    Le Jardin des caresses. Traduit de l'arabe, consisting of Toussaint’s interpretation of Moorish poems, partly anonymous, written in tenth-century Spain, first appeared serially in the Mercure de France and Revue de Paris in 1909-1911, then published together in 1911 and reprinted and translated in numerous editions throughout the twentieth century (the Golden Cockerel Press printed an English edition in 1934). Its numerous short stanzas, whose titles include: ‘Les Seins, les yeux, et la chevelure’, ‘Les oiseaux de la mosquée’, ‘La Sultane de l’amour’, ‘Al Maghreb’, ‘Les Sorciers’, ‘L’Astronome’ and ‘La Volupueuse’proved especially suitable for musical settings and so the work also found huge popularity in song.

    Toussaint is an interesting figure, both a respected scholarly translator of Arabic and other eastern languages, and a director of silent films, the best-known of which is Inch’Allah of 1922. This appealing little manuscript was evidently made by the author as a gift for his second wife, Turkish-born Adelaïde Etelca Stefania Braggiotti, who he married in 1925.

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  • Nebeskych Budicek... by (DEVOTION). NOWAKU, Jozette. (DEVOTION). NOWAKU, Jozette. ~ Nebeskych Budicek... Tuchlovice [Bohemia]. 1787.
    An attractive Bohemian daily prayer book, evidently made for a girl, with simple illumination depicting the Virgin and Child, the Crucifixion and St John in… (more)

    An attractive Bohemian daily prayer book, evidently made for a girl, with simple illumination depicting the Virgin and Child, the Crucifixion and St John in the wilderness. The format and decoration are of a type familiar in Southern Germany at this date, but Bohemian examples are less common.

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  • A collection of ink, wash and pencil designs on 56 sheets, with some additional fabric and print samples. by (DESIGN). HOW, Winifred. (DESIGN). HOW, Winifred. ~ A collection of ink, wash and pencil designs on 56 sheets, with some additional fabric and print samples. England, 1916-1926.
    A design portfolio, mostly dating from the last years of the Great War: early work by a progressive young female designer, Winifred How, made at… (more)

    A design portfolio, mostly dating from the last years of the Great War: early work by a progressive young female designer, Winifred How, made at a so-far unidentified British college of art and design. The formal and informal elements of the collection, which includes many superb pencil and wash designs together with fabric and wallpaper samples, bridge the Arts and Crafts movement of the early century and a striking emergent modernism.

    These spectacular designs are mostly formal exercises in pattern design, with an emphasis on the construction of repeating patterns, interchange, and counterchange (designs in which a certain colour of a motif and its ground are reversed in another part of the design). Also included are a number of more experimental designs, strikingly modernist, usually single panels, some elements of which are incorporated into the formal exercises. In several cases the time taken to make each sheet is noted (usually several hours), reflecting the commercial background of this formal training. The manuscript captions provide a key to each assignment, and some of the designs are marked with tutor’s comments (’good’, ‘beautiful’, excellent’, ‘all units too separate’, ‘good set but panel decoration has a sense of dropping at the centre’, ‘you want to try and get your units to unite’ etc).

    She had evidently been a pupil of the progressive Margaret Morris dance movement. As a designer she provided musical notation and script for Eleanor and Harry Farjeon’s First (and Second) Chap-book of Rounds (1919 and 1920) and in the early 20s she contributed to the progressive magazine Form edited by Austin Osman Spare and W.H. Davies and Spare’s Golden Hind. It is likely she married in 1921. A letterpress flyer found among her designs here also provides a neat context for How’s workis for a benefit exhibition at Welwyn Garden City for the Women’s Committee for the Relief of Miner’s Wives & Children, at which pictures by Brangwyn, Nash, Rothenstein, Spencer and Fry were on sale.

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  • A collection of 5 illustrated chanson manuscripts, of a type popular in France in the first quarter of the twentieth century, particularly among servicemen. The texts are usually composed of popular songs of the day; the illustrations, often derived (sometimes traced) from popular journals and are brightly, even luridly, coloured. Artistic ability is variable, but the images are frequently romantic and suggestive. While not uncommon, when gathered together these notebooks make an interesting study in contemporary popular culture. by CHANSONS CHANSONS ~ A collection of 5 illustrated chanson manuscripts, of a type popular in France in the first quarter of the twentieth century, particularly among servicemen. The texts are usually composed of popular songs of the day; the illustrations, often derived (sometimes traced) from popular journals and are brightly, even luridly, coloured. Artistic ability is variable, but the images are frequently romantic and suggestive. While not uncommon, when gathered together these notebooks make an interesting study in contemporary popular culture. 1900
    I. 'J.B'. France, c. 1900.

    Folio (335 × 210 mm), pp. [98], plus several blank leaves at end. Text in manuscript, full-page illustrations in crayon or… (more)

    I. 'J.B'. France, c. 1900.

    Folio (335 × 210 mm), pp. [98], plus several blank leaves at end. Text in manuscript, full-page illustrations in crayon or pastel. Lightly browned throughout, fragile at edges with minor fraying, all the result of poor quality paper. In original cloth backed notebook. Binding rather worn. A handsome chanson manuscript, anonymous but for the decorative initials 'J.B'. The songs include: 'Le Pigeon blessé', 'Sous les Platanes', 'Carmen', 'Chagrins d'Amour', 'Juanita', 'La Femme est un jouette' and 'Mort pour la France'.

    II. Émile LEBLOND. Dijon, c. 1904.

    Manuscript, 4to (214 × 170 mm), pp. 1-12, 17-98, 101-102, 105-270, 280-320, several blanks at rear. Evidence of 3 leaves removed, perhaps by the maker. Numerous drawings in ink and crayon, decorative headings. Original cloth notebook. Rather rubbed. An illustrated chansonnier made by a soldier of the First Artillery, stationed at Dijon. This is an especially full example which gives some unusual details as to its making: Leblond occasionally records the number of weeks he has been in service and there is evidence of carbon tracing, demonstrating the use of illustrations from popular journals in making these chansonniers. The songs include: 'Berceuse militaire', 'L'Africaine', 'Chapeai bas devant la Marseillais', 'Vous êtes si jolie', 'Four frou' and 'Ma Ninette'.

    III. Yvan LOREAU. Chemillé-sur-Seine, c. 1909.

    Manuscript, small 4to (216 × 175 mm), pp. [2], 88, ruled paper. Drawings in ink and crayon. Original limp wrappers. Yvan Loreau writes on his title-page that this manuscript was made 'Sur le tour de France' and begun on 11th December 1909. Songs include: 'Voila la Parisienne', 'Le petit coeur de Ninon', 'Ah! Ma p'tit Lili', 'Le ruban bleu de l'hirondelle' and 'Pas sur la bouche'.

    IV. Alexandre MOULLET, 'le gros bâtarde'. Valence, 1913-14.

    Manuscript (on squared paper), 4to (222 × 170 mm), pp. [152]. Drawings in ink and crayon, partially unfinished. Some thumbing and fraying, one leaf loose. Original half cloth notebook. An illustrated chansonnier made on the eve of the Great War for one Alexandre Moullet, picturesquely nicknamed 'le gros bâtarde', of the 5eme Régiment d'Artillerie lourde, 8ème batterie, at Valence (Drôme). Songs include: 'Les petites Toulonnaises'; 'Soldat vierge', 'Marins de Marseille', 'Coeur Crise', 'Sur la Riviera' and 'Le dernier Tango'.

    V. REDON. Valbonne (Ain), 1921.

    Manuscript on paper, small 4to (216 × 170 mm), pp. [117], plus numerous blanks at rear, numerous drawings in pencil, ink and crayon (a couple cut from newspapers or journals, decorative headings. Original half cloth notebook. Songs include: 'Tu voudrais me voir pleurer', 'La vals du pastis', 'Vous rendez tous les hommes fou' and 'Le train fatale'. One verse is subscribed 'Fait a la Valbonne le 12-12-21 une soiré de grand froid'.

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  • Relation des campagnes 1741. et 1742. En Bohème et Bavière. by DU GRAVIER, [Major d’artillerie]. DU GRAVIER, [Major d’artillerie]. ~ Relation des campagnes 1741. et 1742. En Bohème et Bavière. [France, paper watermarked 1749].
    A remarkable manuscript account of a French campaign in Bavaria and Bohemia during the first Silesian War, in the form of extracts from (unpublished) letters… (more)

    A remarkable manuscript account of a French campaign in Bavaria and Bohemia during the first Silesian War, in the form of extracts from (unpublished) letters from an artillery major. It is subtitled: ‘Extrait des lettres ecrittes par Mr. Du Gravier surtout ce qui s’est passé depuis le depart des Trouppes de France pour la Bavière, jusqu’au retour de celles que Mr. Le M[arécha]l de Belisle a ramenée de Prague.’ The campaign was led by the Maréchals de Broglie and de Belle Isle and the detailed extracts cover the march to Prague, its storming by French troops in 26 November 1741, the subsequent siege at the hands of the Austrian army and the escape of some 14,000 French troops from the city in December 1742.

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  • Notes sur les anciens peuples, sur quelques curieux phenomênes, sur les sept merveilles du monde, et du Dauphiné, ses montagnes, grottes, fontaines, fleuves & pour les trouver facilement dans l’atlas, suivant lordre, et numero des cartes, avec les longitudes et latitudes. by DOESNEL, D. H. [owner and ?maker]. DOESNEL, D. H. [owner and ?maker]. ~ Notes sur les anciens peuples, sur quelques curieux phenomênes, sur les sept merveilles du monde, et du Dauphiné, ses montagnes, grottes, fontaines, fleuves & pour les trouver facilement dans l’atlas, suivant lordre, et numero des cartes, avec les longitudes et latitudes. France, c. 1800-1812.
    An idiosyncratic personal index of useful and curious facts, mainly geographical, in part forming an index to the Encyclopédie Méthodique (which had been issued in… (more)

    An idiosyncratic personal index of useful and curious facts, mainly geographical, in part forming an index to the Encyclopédie Méthodique (which had been issued in print without an index), a gazetteer to its Atlas, and an index to various other books, such as Valmont de Bomare’s Histoire Naturelle and Lacroix’s Géographie. A homespun affair, the volume is rather haphazardly arranged and presented in homemade boards covered in rather fine contemporary wallpaper. It includes references to regions, cities and landmarks in Europe, Asia, Africa and America (the latter including mentions of Cabot, Columbus and Penn) and several ingenious diagrams of the rivers of France.

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  • A superb album of 94 ink drawings of Chinese tradespeople and occupations. by CHINA. CHINA. ~ A superb album of 94 ink drawings of Chinese tradespeople and occupations. [China, c. 1840].
    A splendid display of early nineteenth-century Chinese trades including craftspeople, a bookseller, purveyors of foods, medicines, fans, kites, toys and even a lion dancer, each… (more)

    A splendid display of early nineteenth-century Chinese trades including craftspeople, a bookseller, purveyors of foods, medicines, fans, kites, toys and even a lion dancer, each drawing on one side of fine double-folded paper, captioned in ink in Chinese.

    Albums such as these were produced in Chinese studios for the export market and were especially popular with Europeans for their exact portrayal of various aspects of Chinese life of the period: customs, costumes, occupations, flora and fauna. They ‘depicted those phases of Chinese life which fascinated the Westerner but defied descriptions to friends and family at home. Before the advent of the camera, this medium played an extremely vital role in revealing Oriental culture to the West.’ (Crossman, The China Trade, 1972). Though marketed to curious Europeans these albums represent important interpretations of Chinese life by indigenous Chinese artists. The present example is notable for being dated 1843, at the very end of the First Opium War just as five ports in China were being opened to the British.

    These albums were luxury products, each one individually produced, and therefore priced beyond the means of any but the wealthy. Individual artists were never identified.

    Lady Churchill, the original owner of the album, was born Lady Frances Fitzroy, the fifth daughter of Augustus Henry Fitzroy, third duke of Grafton. In 1801 she married Francis Almeric Spencer, youngest son of the fourth Duke of Marlborough and created first Baron Churchill of Wychwood in 1815. It is unlikely that the elderly Baron Churchill and his wife were in China at the time she received the album, and much more probable that it was presented to Lady Churchill in England as a gift, possibly by one of her military sons such as George Augustus Spencer, who was an officer in a regiment serving in China.

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  • 95 Hand Pen and Ink Sketches of Old London Signs, &c. An original Collection. by (LONDON SIGNS). (LONDON SIGNS). ~ 95 Hand Pen and Ink Sketches of Old London Signs, &c. An original Collection. London: F.H. Hutt, Bookseller. Clement’s Inn Passage, W.C. [n.d., c. 1905].
    The manuscript comprises 95 vignettes of London signs, often dated, including street signs dating from as early as 1623 and inn and shop signs. The… (more)

    The manuscript comprises 95 vignettes of London signs, often dated, including street signs dating from as early as 1623 and inn and shop signs. The key provides their original location.

    The fine bookplate by William P. Barrett is of Herbert John Gladstone, 1st Viscount Gladstone, youngest son of the British Prime Minister.

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  • An album of 42 watercolours of plants and flowers. by (BOTANY). (BOTANY). ~ An album of 42 watercolours of plants and flowers. [Japan, late Edo period, i.e. mid nineteenth century].
    The naive but elegant watercolours here include ginger, eggplant, hot pepper, strawberry, mulberry, lily, carnation, marigold, vetch, hypericum and orchid. (more)

    The naive but elegant watercolours here include ginger, eggplant, hot pepper, strawberry, mulberry, lily, carnation, marigold, vetch, hypericum and orchid.

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  • ‘rollicking, risky, or more often frankly coarse’ - la vie quotidienne a paris
    Le Tourlourou. by KOCK, Charles Paul de. KOCK, Charles Paul de. ~ Le Tourlourou. Paris, 1837.
    A complete autograph manuscript of one of De Kock’s acutely observed novels of gritty Parisian life. In Le Tourlourou (1837) a young barmaid, Marie, is… (more)

    A complete autograph manuscript of one of De Kock’s acutely observed novels of gritty Parisian life. In Le Tourlourou (1837) a young barmaid, Marie, is the object of a strange case of mistaken relationship when a letter arrives from a countess seeking ‘l’objet de mes plus chères affections’. Marie assumes the letter refers to her, but when she finds out the Countess is merely asking after an item of lost property, she becomes distraught and throws herself into the Canal Saint-Martin. She is saved by a young man who has previously tried and failed to gain her affections, and the two are married.

    The Oxford Companion to French Literature describes De Kock (1794-1871) as ‘the prolific and immensely popular author of rollicking, risky, or more often frankly coarse, frequently sentimental and fundamentally good-natured novels.’ Certainly prolific, De Kock published over 100 novels, which attained worldwide celebrity in translation, especially in American and British collected editions (of which it is sometimes wryly noted that the prose was much improved by translation). This manuscript certainly gives the impression of rollicking speed; this is not a fair copy, and while there are many deletions and emendations, these do not seem to have detained the author for long.

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  • Trattato di Prospettiva Pratica di M. Giacomo Barozzi da Vgnola Con aggiunta di alcuni aut[ores] Disegnato et acqu[afort]o da Alesandro Bossi. by VIGNOLA, Giacomo Barozzi da. Alesandro BOSSI, copyist, editor and artist. VIGNOLA, Giacomo Barozzi da. Alesandro BOSSI, copyist, editor and artist. ~ Trattato di Prospettiva Pratica di M. Giacomo Barozzi da Vgnola Con aggiunta di alcuni aut[ores] Disegnato et acqu[afort]o da Alesandro Bossi. Novara. 1824.
    A handsome Romantic reinterpretation of Vignola’s classic Renaissance manual of perspective, Due regole della prospettiva pratica (1582, with many later editions). Elements of Vignola’s diagrams… (more)

    A handsome Romantic reinterpretation of Vignola’s classic Renaissance manual of perspective, Due regole della prospettiva pratica (1582, with many later editions). Elements of Vignola’s diagrams are adapted for the oblong format of the book an often updated with figures and buildings in contemporary style. Bossi, about who we have been able to discover almost nothing beyond this manuscript, also adds a fine sequence of 4 coloured illustrations depicting furniture designs in the French Empire style by Percier and 17 superb monochrome views and interiors, 13 of which are in a sequence with their own decorative title-page ‘Aggiunta di alcune prospettive ricavae da classici autori’

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  • autograph manuscript book by the author of Ourika
    Pensées de Louis XIV. by DURAS, Claire de Durfort, duchesse de. DURAS, Claire de Durfort, duchesse de. ~ Pensées de Louis XIV. Paris, 16 July 1825.
    An autograph manuscript of Claire Duras’s Pensées de Louis XIV; her first book, composed in March 1821, but not published in print until Didot’s small… (more)

    An autograph manuscript of Claire Duras’s Pensées de Louis XIV; her first book, composed in March 1821, but not published in print until Didot’s small edition of 1827 (very rare with OCLC recording the Bn copy only). Claire Duras is best known as the author of the novel Ourika (1824) famously recounting the true story of black slave girl brought up in France. Ourika, like the Pensées de Louis XIV, was first aired in her celebrated literary salon, described as ‘among the most brilliant of the Restoration period’ (Oxford Companion to French Literature). Duras was an important member of the circle around Chateaubriand who she met while in exile in England and who became a frequenter of her salon. Duras’ dedication inscription in our manuscript is to their mutual friend, Louise Angélique de Vintimille (1763-1831) another well-known salon hostess.

    Like Chateaubriand and many of their circle in Restoration Paris, Duras looked back at the reign of Louis XIV as a golden age and eagerly read his Mémoires in the two editions published respectively by Montagnac and Grouvelle in 1806. It was a fashionable preoccupation to select, collect and discuss the maxims of the Sun King, presumably as a barometer of contemporary government, but surely also as treasures of cultivated French pros. In the Pensées Duras selects 70 extracts, ranging from a couple of lines to over a page each, drawn from the 1806 edition together with a few from the seventeenth-century editions. She opens with: ‘Choisir de bons sujets et maintenir la règle, voila la science de tout bon gouvernement’, supposedly written by the King on the first leaf of a journal given him Madame de Maintenon, according to an anecdote recounted by Madame de Genlis in 1811. Others include ‘Il n’y a rien qui puisse faire en si peu de tems de si grands effets que la bonne ou la mauvaise réputation des princes’; ‘Il faut beaucoup de lumières pour savoir discerner au vrai ceux qui nous flattent d’avec ceux qui nous admirent’ [a line previously selected by Chateaubriand in his review of one of the 1806 editions of Louis XIV’s Oeuvres]; ‘Le plus sûr chemin de la gloire est toujours celui que montre la raison’; ‘L’art de connoître les hommes se peut apprendre, mais ne se peut enseigner’; ‘La décision a besoin d’un esprit de maître’.

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  • Penitence de la Duchesse de la Vallière [spine title]. by LA VALLIÈRE, Louise, duchesse de. LA VALLIÈRE, Louise, duchesse de. ~ Penitence de la Duchesse de la Vallière [spine title]. [France, c. 1750].
    A manuscript collection of devotional texts by (or about) the first official mistress of Louis XIV, who, after her fall from favour, retired to a… (more)

    A manuscript collection of devotional texts by (or about) the first official mistress of Louis XIV, who, after her fall from favour, retired to a Carmelite convent in 1674 and took the veil. Her penitence, lasting until her death in 1710 was widely discussed and generated many accounts as well as her own Réflexions sur la Miséricorde de Dieu, first published in 1680, frequently reprinted and forming the last part of our manuscript collection. Réflexions bears the strong influence of Bossuet, her teacher, but is also a semi-autobiographical work, considering the mercy of God for sinners, especially for courtesans who have renounced their sexual sins, done penance, and exiled themselves from the excesses of the court. The author appeals, in particular, to feminine figures of repentance and sanctity in the New Testament, notably Saint Mary Magdalene, as paradigms of the conversion she has undergone.

    The texts in this manuscript copy (in an unusual and probably female hand) hand all seem to have been collected from printed sources. Contents:

    —L’Abrégé de la vie de la pénitence de Madame la duchesse de La Vallière. pp. 1-22
    —Lettres de la soeur de la Vallière à Monsieur le maréchal de Bellefond soit avant soit depuis son entrée aux Carmélites. pp. 22-107
    —Elévations de coeur à nôtre Seigneur Jesus-christ par rapport à la sainte Communion composées par la soeur Louise de la Miséricorde et tirées mot à mot de l'extrait écrit de sa main. pp. 107-118
    —Lettre circulaire des Carmélites. pp. 118-141
    —Sermon de messire Jean-Louis de Fromentières (...) pour la vêture de Madame de La Vallière. pp. 142-207
    —Sermon pour la profession de Madame Françoise de la Baume Le Blanc de la Vallière duchesse de Vaujour prononcé en présence de la Reine le 4 juin 1675 dans l’Eglise des carmélites du fauxbourg saint Jacques. pp. 207-271
    —Réflexions sur la Miséricorde de Dieu en forme de prières. pp. 271-350.

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  • Kurtze Einleitung zur Italianischen Sprach. by CHRISTALNIGG, Therese, Countess of (owner). CHRISTALNIGG, Therese, Countess of (owner). ~ Kurtze Einleitung zur Italianischen Sprach. Presumably Klagenfurt, 1757.
    An attractive beginner’s guide to learning Italian, carefully written out in a neat hand. We have been unable to trace a printed source. The Palais… (more)

    An attractive beginner’s guide to learning Italian, carefully written out in a neat hand. We have been unable to trace a printed source. The Palais Christalnig in Klagenfurt, Carinthia (about 40 miles from the Italian border), still stands.

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  • La Tartufiade poëme Satiri-comico-burlesque en douze chants. by MESNAGE, Charles. MESNAGE, Charles. ~ La Tartufiade poëme Satiri-comico-burlesque en douze chants. France, [Mayenne] 1849.
    An elegantly produced autograph manuscript in gold ink of Mesnage’s satire in hexasyllables denouncing the arrivistes of the Second Republic. It is apparently unpublished. Born… (more)

    An elegantly produced autograph manuscript in gold ink of Mesnage’s satire in hexasyllables denouncing the arrivistes of the Second Republic. It is apparently unpublished. Born in 1821 at Evron (Mayenne), Mesnage claimed direct descent from Racine and published several poetical works, including Les Fleurs d’Avril (Laval, 1854 of which a copy is included here).

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