BLESSEBOIS (Paul-Alexis, dit Pierre-Corneille de).

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BLESSEBOIS (Paul-Alexis, dit Pierre-Corneille de).
Marthe le Hayer or Mademoiselle de Sçay. S.l., Printed for the Author, 1689. Small in-12, red morocco, double cold fillet, interior gilt roulette, edges gilt on marbling (H. Duru).
Gay-Lemonnyer, t. I, col. 731. - Willems, n°1895.
A very rare free play in which the author pours out a torrent of obscenities against his former mistress Mademoiselle de Sçay, whom he had once kidnapped and whom he depicts as a courtesan: I renounce you as if you were the Devil & make an open profession of hating you all my life. [...] Your eyes are more hollow, & throw less light than the cup of a walnut, your nose is a recess where Nature has enclosed so much garbage that one cannot approach you without choking, & your mouth conceals more worms than a rotten cheese [...].
The comedy is bound after two of the three plays in Blessebois' Oeuvres satyriques (Leiden, 1676): L'Almanac des belles pour l'année 1676 and L'Eugénie, a tragedy dedicated to His Highness the Prince of Orange. The frontispiece of this volume, engraved in intaglio by J. Smeltzing, depicts a gallant scene.
The debauched life of Blessebois, a licentious Norman poet whom the bibliographer Lachèvre dubbed the "Casanova of the 17th century," was a succession of imprisonments and banishments. This sulphurous author, to whom we owe the famous Zombi du grand Pérou (1697), a novel that had so excited the curiosity of Charles Nodier (who thought it was printed in the West Indies), obscurely ended his novelistic existence as an adventurer in the Americas. Louis Loviot, who devoted a long article to it in the Revue des Livres anciens, (II, 1917).
From the Millot (1846, n°769) and Jean-Claude Delauney (2005, n°15) libraries.
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