DESCHAMPS (Martial)

Lot 32
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1500 - 2000 EUR
DESCHAMPS (Martial)
Histoire tragique et miraculeuse d'un vol et assassinat commis au païs de Berri, en la personne de Martial Deschamps, Médecin de l'Université de Paris, & ordinaire de la Maison & Ville de Bourdeaux. Paris, Jean Bienné, 1576. In-8, marbled calf, double gilt fillet, ornamented spine, red title page, red edges (18th century binding).
First edition of this curious sixteenth-century criminal canard.
In a long pamphlet, Martial Deschamps, a doctor and humanist from Bordeaux, tried to obtain the condemnation of the perpetrators of a murder, his own murder, although he survived to tell his story. [His] misfortunes stem from his decision to defend the rights of a widow and her daughter to an estate. [According to his account, Deschamps, the widow's champion, tried to resolve the dispute by going to the disputed property....
On the way, Deschamps and his travelling companion were attacked by three men who openly declared their connection to Beaupré. The three men seized Deschamps' money and the title deed to Chastelleux and claimed that they were going to take him to a nearby castle. Instead, they bound the hands and feet of Deschamps and his companion, and left them in a swamp in the middle of the forest, leaving them for dead. [...] On learning that Deschamps had survived the ordeal, Beaupré went to Paris to ask for a royal pardon. Deschamps' pamphlet draws an alternative narrative that insists that the crime committed - the murder of people caught unawares - was not subject to the right of pardon. And he won the case. According to a ruling published in 1576, the same year as the pamphlet, the Parliament of Paris condemned Beaupré to be beheaded and two of the men who had attacked Deschamps to be dismembered and to die on the wheel. [...] By relying on compelling and familiar narratives, heavily laden with Christian morality, pamphlets of Deschamps's kind thus sought to persuade of the justice of the victims' cause and to influence its readers as to the necessity of retributive justice for French society (Sara Beam, "Criminal Ducks and the Limits of Violence in Early Modern France," in History, Economics & Society, 2011).
The work was translated the same year into Latin by Jean Dorat, under the title Monodia tragica, an edition found bound in the volume just before this one.
Bound with the following works, either at the head of the volume or following it:
- LE ROY (Louis). Exhortation to the French to live in concord, and to enjoy the good of Peace. Paris, De l'Imprimerie de Federic Morel, 1570.
Numerous old handwritten annotations in the margins.
- Bulle de Nostre Sainct Père le Pape, contenant permission accordée au Clergé de France, à l'instance du Roy, d'aliéner du bien temporel des Ecclésiastiques de son Royaume, pour subvenir à partie des frais de la guerre pour la reunion & réduction de tous les subiects de Sa Majesté à la Religion Catholique, Apostolique & Romaine... S.l.n.d. [1586].
On the title, autograph signature of Étienne Baluze, Colbert's librarian.
Handwritten list of works contained in the volume on a flyleaf.
Angular staining to a few leaves. Spine very rubbed with spotting.
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