Apologie du célibat chretien. by VILLIERS, Marc-Albert de (1730?-1778).

VILLIERS, Marc-Albert de (1730?-1778).

Apologie du célibat chretien. Par M. l’Abbé *** Prêtre & Licencié Paris, La veuve Damonneville, Musier fils, Vatel, la veuve Berton, 1761.

[with] Sentimens des

First editions. Two works in one volume, 12mo (168 x 92 mm), pp. [ii], [xii], [2], 414, [2]; [2], 14, with occasional slight browning, small paper flaw to lower outer blank corner of I5, bound in handsome contemporary crushed crimson morocco, with an elaborate border of double gilt fillet, feather tools, fleurons and tendrils along inner border, gilt centrepieces with the arms of Cardinal G. Doria Pamphili, spine with raised bands, gilt in compartments, with green morocco label lettered in gilt, with blue silk endpapers, gilt dentelles, all edges gilt, the upper joint partly split at head with small loss, minimally repaired at foot, head and foot of spine a bit rubbed, endpapers a little faded, with the nineteenth century ownership inscription of Pietro Ceriani and the nineteenth century bookplate of Bernardine Murphy, with manuscript shelfmark to front pastedown, red ink stamp of Libraria Colonna to front free endpaper, title and final blank, with some offsetting.

A superbly bound copy of two scarce religious works, with an illustrious provenance. Originally bound for the Cardinal Giuseppe Maria Doria Pamphili (1751-1819) with his arms gilt on both covers. Pamphili was apostolic nuncio in France between 1773 and 1785 and was later Secretary of State for the Holy See. In the nineteenth century, it passed into the library of the major Roman family of the Colonna, who were related to the Doria Pamphili.
The priest and doctor of law Marc-Albert de Villiers was the author of at least four pamphlets blending Christian philosophy, theology and canon law. Both works in this volume are concerned with marriage. The first is a defence of clerical celibacy, against the ‘libels full of the most horrible impieties, the grossest obscenities and the greatest hate towards the Christian and Catholic religion’. The second is a critique of J.-P.-F. de Ripert-Monclar’s Mémoire...sur les mariages clandestins des protestants en France, 1750, which advocated the legalisation of Protestant marriages. He was especially opposed to Protestants who feigned conversion to Catholicism just to be allowed to marry Catholics, returning later to their Protestant convictions.

1: OCLC lists BN, Sainte-Geneviève, Cornell and Penn.
II: OCLC lists BN, Sainte-Geneviève, Cambridge, Bowdoin and Library of Congress.

Keywords: Continental Books
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