Galerie de l'ancienne Cour ou Mémoires Anecdotes pour servir à l’histoire des regnes de Louis XIV et de Louis XV. Tome Premier [-Troisième]. 1786.
First Edition. Three volumes, pp. xxiv, 379; iv, 476; iv, 456, 461-496, marginal tear to I D3, repaired, and to I G12, with no loss, in contemporary half speckled calf over brown textured boards, brown morocco labels on spines lettered and numbered in gilt.
Saint Simon’s celebrated Mémoires, ‘one of the most original monuments of French literature’, were principally written between 1740 and 1746 long after he went into retirement. The sparkling wit and complete freedom from restraint of the memoirs - Saint Simon allows his personal hatreds free reign and writes violently against the ‘leprosy’ of equality - make them an enjoyable read as well as being an important, if not altogether impartial, source of information.
The first two volumes contain a number of extracts from Saint-Simon’s Mémoires, which were not to be published for another couple of years. A fourth volume dealing with the reigns of Henri IV and Louis XIII was added later.
‘Tout dans cette Galerie n’est pas tiré de Saint-Simon; il est vraisemblable que Soulavie a été l’éditeur de ce recueil’ (Tchemerzine, V, p. 657).
Tchemerzine V, p. 657; Formel, Bibliographie des Mémoires de Saint-Simon, p. 50; see Gay II, 381; not in Cioranescu.
OCLC lists Koninklijke, NYU and Montreal.