Les Egaremens du Coeur et de l'Esprit, by CREBILLON, Claude-Prosper-Jolyot…

copy owned by ‘termagant’ Spanish Queen
CREBILLON, Claude-Prosper-Jolyot de, 'Crébillon fils', (1701-1777).

Les Egaremens du Coeur et de l'Esprit, ou Mémoires de Mr de Meilcour. Première [-Troisième Partie. Paris, Prault, 1736 [Volumes II & III: Hague, Gosse & Neaulme, 1738].

First Editions. Three volumes, 12mo (164 x 87 mm), pp. [xviii], 174, [5] approbation &c.; [ii], 144, [2] errata; [iv], 176, advertisement leaf bound after the title, corner torn from I, 123, with loss to margin only, small marginal tear III, 149, with no loss, some dampstaining and discolouration of the paper, in contemporary heraldic calf, triple gilt filet to covers around central arms, spines with raised bands gilt in compartments, red morocco labels lettered and numbered in gilt, headcaps chipped and joints weak, spines generally a little rubbed and delicate, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers, with the bookplate of William Charles Flack and the ownership inscription of J.M. Waugh in each volume, with the latter’s note about provenance on the front free endpaper of the first volume and a manuscript note on the first bookplate reading ‘This book belonged to the King of Prussia’.

An excellent set with an illustrious female provenance of this important faux mémoire telling of Paris social life and the sentimental education of the eponymous hero. With a preface addressed to his father, this was one of Crébillon fils’ earliest literary triumphs and was widely read - the Earl of Shaftesbury is known to have read it - and translated into English as The wanderings of the heart and mind, London, 1751. These three volumes represent the scarce first editions, the first volume printed in Paris by Prault and the subsequent two volumes printed in the Hague by Gosse and Neaulme. The work was an overnight best-seller and editions were published frequently for the next half century or so. It was also included in the Bibliothèque du campagne, 1738-42 and in the Bibliothèque universelle des romans, 1786. The first volume is more often found with later editions of the second and third volumes.
‘A text which readers, scholars, and historians have continued to revisit, if not for the early modern circumvoluted beauty of the sentences, then for clues about the tacit system of rules associated with the liaisons of Parisian aristocrats during the Regency and early years of Louis XV’s reign’ (Ganofsky, Marine, The Literary Encyclopedia, 2017).

Provenance: i.) Elisabeth Farnese, Queen of Spain (1692-1766), by marriage to Philip V. Described by her biographer as a ‘termagent’. ii.) Ownership inscription of J.M. Waugh, with the note in his hand: ‘Les Egaremens du Coeur se sont egarés des mains du Roi de l’Espagne entre celles de J.M. Waugh’. iii.) Another hand continues the note, ‘et ensuite entre les mains de J. Redshaw(?)’. iv.) With the bookplate of William Charles Flack in each volume.

OCLC lists BL, NLS, Bodleian, Manchester; McGill, Nebraska and San Diego.

Jones p. 58; Cioranescu 21742; Tchemerzine IV, 190 (2 vols only).

Keywords: Continental Books
Print this page View basket Price: £2,000.00