La Saxe Galante. by POELLNITZ, Karl Ludwig, Freiherr von (1692-1775).

POELLNITZ, Karl Ludwig, Freiherr von (1692-1775).

La Saxe Galante. Ou Histoire des Amours d’Auguste I. Roi de Pologne. Amsterdam, aux dépens de la Compagnie, 1736.

Third Edition. 12mo (146 x 88 mm), pp. [ii], 416, title page printed in red, first and final leaves a little dampstained, binding internally sprung but externally sound, in later vellum, marbled endpapers, spine simply ruled and lettered in gilt, with the ownership inscription ‘A. de Meslon’ (?).

A scarce early edition of one of the cheekiest plagiarisms of the eighteenth century. Frequently reprinted, this chronique scandaleuse claims to contain true details of the love life of the King of Poland, Augustus of Saxony, known as ‘the German Casanova’ and said to have fathered some 400 illegitimate children.
‘Cet ouvrage du baron de Poellnitz est un plagiat des plus audacieux. - Ce n'est autre chose que le charmant roman de la Princesse de Clèves de Mme de La Fayette, que le baron de Poellnitz a mis sous son nom, en changeant tout simplement les noms des personnages et le lieu de l'action. Quant aux phrases et au style, on n’a même pas pris la peine de les déguiser’ (Gay III, p. 1028-1079). Gay goes on to say that according to Paulmy this ‘roman très agréable et très amusant’ was the ‘fruit of the youth’ of the chevalier de Solignac, who was witness to most of the adventures recounted in it. It was translated into German as Das Galante Sachsen, Frankfurt, 1739.

See Jones p. 54; Cioranescu 50714; Gay III, 1078-1079; MMF 63.R.37.

Not in OCLC, which lists an ebook, linked to a digital version of the Harvard copy.

Keywords: Continental Books
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