Le Veritable Pere Josef by RICHARD, René (1654-1727).

RICHARD, René (1654-1727).

Le Veritable Pere Josef Capucin, nommé au Cardinalat. Contenant l’histoire anecdote du Cardinal de Richelieu. Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, Butler, 1704.

Second edition, first under this title. 12mo, pp. [iv], 589, [11], some light browning to text, in contemporary polished calf, triple gilt ruled border to covers, spine chipped at head and foot, otherwise attractive, richly gilt in compartments with a brown morocco label lettered in gilt, all edges marbled, blue marbled endpapers, with a barely readable ownership inscription on the title page and ‘Bibliothèque de Gaignal’ in a contemporary hand in brown ink on the final free endpaper.

A scarce biography of the capucin friar Joseph Le Clerc du Tremblay (1577-1638) Richelieu’s intimate friend and advisor. Known as l’eminence grise, a nickname that has come to signify individuals excercising hidden political power, le Père Joseph was immortalised in English literature by Aldous Huxley in his Grey Eminence.
René Richard’s biography was first published under the title Histoire de la Vie du P. Joseph Le Clerc du Tremblay, capucin, in 1702 and republished anonymously here as Le Veritable Père Joseph. Curiously, Richard published a Réponse au livre intitulé Père Joseph, also in 1704, being a criticism of the present ‘anonymous’ work. It was appended to another 1704 printing of the original text under yet another title, Vie du P. Joseph Le Clerc du Tremblay, Geneva 1704. This is a scarce provincial printing from the Savoie region in the Auvergne in southern France.

See Cioranescu 59193.

Keywords: Continental Books
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