Les Etrennes de la Saint-Jean. by CAYLUS, Anne-Claude-Philippe de Tubières…

CAYLUS, Anne-Claude-Philippe de Tubières de Grimoard de Pestels de Lévis, comte de (1692-1765).

Les Etrennes de la Saint-Jean. Troisième Edition, Revûe, corrigée & augmentée par les Auteurs de plusieurs Morceaux d’esprit qui n’ont point encore paru. 1751 (altered in manuscript to 1752).

‘Third Edition; Second Edition, ‘revue & augmentée’. 12mo, (150 x 85mm), pp. xvi, 197, neat and probably contemporary alteration of the date on the title page to 1752 (MDCCLII, viz., one ‘I’ added) in dark brown ink in a contemporary hand; with the woodcut portrait of the printer, ‘Monsieur ou Madame Oudot’, title page and woodcut page printed in green and black; pp. 166, [4], including woodcut frontispiece printed in brown, title page printed in brown and black with woodcut peapod vignette, in contemporary red morocco, triple fillet border to covers, flat spine simply gilt in compartments, yellow morocco label lettered in gilt, pink and gilt embossed endpapers, gilt edges, with the bookplate of Henry B. H. Beaufoy.

A very handsome copy in contemporary red morocco, possibly by Derome jeune, of two of Caylus’ most celebrated œuvres badines. These humorous works contain a variety of anecdotes, short stories, little fictional vignettes, imaginary correspondence, short plays, poems and dialogues, with settings which take the reader from the fashionable east to the more disreputable parts of Paris. With the famous coloured frontispiece to Les Etrennes de la Saint-Jean, illustrating the printer, ‘Monsieur ou Madame Oudot’, here printed in green. Also containing ‘Lettre Persanne d’un Monsieur de Paris, à un Gentilhomme Turc de ses Amis’ and the reply ‘Reponse pour le Gentilhomme Turc, à la Lettre Persanne de Paris’ (pp. 14-21); ‘Dialogue en forme de Questions, sur le Mariage’ (pp. 24-29), ‘Le Ballet des Dindons’ (pp. 53-56), ‘Le Prince Bel-Esprit, & la Reine Toute-Belle’ (pp. 61-65) and the conte philosophique ‘Les Epreuves d’Amour dans les quatre Elémens, histoire nouvelle’ (pp. 67-110).
Les Ecosseuses, ou les Oeufs de Pasques, intended as a sequel to Les Etrennes de la Saint-Jean but not usually found with it, has the frontispiece and part of the title printed in brown. This selection begins with the short story, ‘Le Oui & le Non, mal placés’ (pp. 13-36) and includes a number of short stories with or without dialogue, such as the ‘Histoire Veritable d’un beau Bal dansé après soupé, dans un Fauxbourg de Paris (pp. 69-74). It also includes the short comedy, ‘Le Porteur d’Iau, ou les Amours de la Ravaudeuse’ (pp. 75-142).
Both works were written in collaboration with a number of Caylus’ friends, including the redoubtable Comtesse de Verrue, Crébillon fils, Duclos, Vadé, Maurepas, Moncrif, Collé and Voisenon. These were the key players in a literary 'société badine' which centred around the actress and comedian Jeanne-Françoise Quinault. The society would meet for exuberant dinners during the course of which they would collectively compose these tales and jeux d'esprit.

Provenance: with the bookplate of Henry B. H. Beaufoy, whose library was sold at Christie’s on 7th July 1909 (see De Ricci, English Collectors of Books and Manuscripts, p. 181).

Cioranescu 16247; 16251 (Troyes 1739); Cohen-de Ricci 209; Gay I 182; Jones p. 79 and p. 69.

OCLC: Les Etrennes de la Saint-Jean: University of Connecticut, DLC, Maryland, Princeton, Pennsylvania State, Vanderbilt and Göttingen.
Les Ecosseuses: Ohio State only.

Keywords: Continental Books
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