Item #11325 Introduction à la vie devote. Saint FRANÇOIS de Sales, bp. of Geneva.
Introduction à la vie devote.
Introduction à la vie devote.
Introduction à la vie devote.
ANNOTATED BY A CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH ALCHEMIST

Introduction à la vie devote.

Paris, Pierre Moreau for himself and François Rouvelin 1644.

Half sheet 8vo (165 x 111 mm.). [iv], 794 [r. 810]p. and TWO PLATES. PRINTED IN THREE SIZES OF PIERRE MOREAU’S SCRIPT TYPES WITH HIS CALLIGRAPHIC TYPOGRAPHIC ORNAMENTS.

19th-century crushed blue morocco (Smith; rubbed), gilt spine and title, gilt board edges and turn-ins, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt.

“ONE OF THE MOST CONTINUOUSLY SUCCESSFUL MANUALS OF THE DEVOUT LIFE EVER WRITTEN” (New Oxf. Comp. to French Lit.). Written in 1607 as a series of letters addressed to his relative Mme. de Charmoisy, the Introduction had enormous success with women readers. More than a thousand printings of various versions are known in dozens of languages.
            He prescribes ethical behavior and establishes a hierarchy of virtues for private and public life. He urges chaste thoughts at balls and social dances, diligence and honesty in professional settings, and patience and humility in married life. François touches on so many facets of human experience that the Introduction has “an encyclopedism that prefigures the Age of Enlightenment” (En français dans le texte 83).
            This elegant edition is printed in Pierre Moreau’s splendid script types — “of undeniable interest” (Morison). A gifted calligrapher whose engraved devotionals were much in demand, Pierre Moreau turned to typography in the early 1640s. The skill and beauty of his books secured him the post of Royal Printer in Ordinary in 1642, despite not being a member of the guild. He issued nearly three dozen books before he was harassed tod abandon his presses and his fonts.
            Thomas Henshaw (1618-1700) signed this copy in ink on p. 111 and annotated half its leaves with interlinear and marginal pencil marks throughout — mostly underlinings, n or nb (nota or nota bene) and a mnemonic trefoil to mark passages of special interest. The soft lead has offset throughout.
            Henshaw spent much of the 1640s traveling through France, Spain and Italy with John Evelyn. He may well have bought this book in Paris. Upon Henshaw’s return to England he pursued scientific studies and was an early member of the Royal Society. His books passed to his son-in-law, Thomas Halsey, and later became part of a library held at the Halsey seat at Gaddesden Place.
            From the library of English bibliophile William Beckford (1760-1844; Catalogue (1883) 1657); unidentified armorial bookplate with the monogram ar. Bound in front are two folded engravings. The first is a facsimile of de Sales’ 1613 two-page letter to Jesuit Leonardus Lessius (1554-1623); the second is an unsigned framed bust portrait of the author with a Latin prayer below.
¶Conihout & Gabriel, Poésie & calligraphie imprimée à Paris au XVIIe siècle 12; Brunet, Supplément II: 573 “rare”.

Item #11325

Price: $9,200.00