Lot 76
Go to lot
Estimation :
1500 - 2000 EUR
Portuguese Letters and Answers. Translated into French. Tenth edition. Paris, Claude Barbin, 1670, In-12, granite basane, four-ribbed spine, red speckled edges (Binding of the time).
Unknown edition gathering alternately 4 of the 5 famous letters published by Claude Barbin in 1669, and 5 replies, not those given in 1669 by the Parisian bookseller Loyson, but the so-called new replies published a few months later in Grenoble by Robert Philippes.
Curious detail, the order of the correspondence has been reversed, so that the volume begins with the first true reply (Adieu Mariane, adieu, je te quitte....), followed by the first true letter (Consider, my love, what a lack of foresight you have shown...), and so on.
As the Notice to the reader announces, this may be the first attempt to publish the letters and the replies together (a "collective" edition is attested in 1674 in Lyon under the title Lettres portugaises avec les Responces) : The Portuguese Letters which we have always seen until now alone, together, & separated from the Responses, [...] now appear in a much more pleasant & convenient way. Each letter has its reply, and each reply is followed by its letter; and this chain of letters and replies forms a kind of plot and a kind of little novel which cannot fail to please, even if the novelty that one notices in it does not come into play to make this effect.
In any case, it is obvious that this is a counterfeit, or rather a pirate edition published by a bookseller wishing to exploit the success of Guilleragues' love letters, and of which this copy seems to be the only one known to date. The - fictitious - mention of a tenth edition on the title, the difference in typeface used for the quires A-D and that of the quires E-I, as well as the clumsy restructuring of the love story, are all elements that support our opinion.
17th century handwritten bookplate on the title, repeated on p. 81: Cottier. Extensive handwritten notes on the endpapers concerning the author and this work.
Binding much restored.
My orders
Sale information
Sales conditions
Return to catalogue