Letre [sic] Circvlaire Avx Monasteres De La Visitation Sainte Marie Sur les vertus de feue la Mere Francoise Magdalene de Chaugy. Marie-Élisabeth-Gertrude de. O. V. M. PROVANE DE LEYNI.
DISTAFF BIOGRAPHER’S BIOGRAPHY

Letre [sic] Circvlaire Avx Monasteres De La Visitation Sainte Marie Sur les vertus de feue la Mere Francoise Magdalene de Chaugy.

Turin, B. Zappata 1682.

12mo. [ii], 160, [1]p. Small woodcut of the Visitation on the title.

Contemporary mottled calf (neatly restored, rubbed), gilt spine, edges sprinkled red.

First Edition of the first biography of Françoise-Madeleine de Chaugy (1611-80), niece of Jeanne de Chantal, the founder of the Visitandine Order. Chaugy professed her vows in 1630, served her aunt as secretary then became head of the Visitandine convents at Clermont-Ferrand, Crest, Carpentras and Turin. Her administration was marked by charity, piety and zeal, despite false charges of mismanagement. She wrote the first history of the Order, and she materially aided the canonization of François de Sales.
     Apparently anonymous, the Letter is in fact an eye witness account by Chaugy’s contemporary Sister Marie-Elisabeth-Gertrude de Provane de Leyni. Her authorship is revealed on the final leaf — a kind of colophon — appended after the close of the narrative. Provane de Leyni also wrote an extensive biography of Visitandine Jeanne-Bénigne Gojoz (1615-92), first printed in 1878 (in English) and then 1901 (in the original French). The Letter is the only work by Provane printed in her lifetime. I have not located a copy outside of Europe. In good condition (some foxing and browning), armorial mottoed bookplate of the Courtois d’Arcollières family (Savoy).
¶Conlon, Prélude au Siècle des Lumières en France 18366; unknown to Carr, “A Checklist of Published Writings in French by Early Modern Nuns” in The Cloister and the World ed. Carr but see 254 for her life of Gojoz.

Item #10998

Price: $2,200.00