Histoire générale du serrail, et de la cour du Grand Seigneur, Empereur des Turcs. Où se voit l’image de la grandeur otthomane, le tableau des passions humaines, et les exemples des inconstantes prosperitez de la cour. Ensemble l’histoire de la cour du roy de la Chine . . . Derniere edition.

Rouen, Jean Osmont, 1638.

Two parts in one volume, 8vo, pp. [xvi], 368, [15]; 115, [5, blank]; each part with its own title; woodcut headpieces and initials; with a full-page engraving of a giraffe in the text (p. 175); small paper flaw in lower outer corner of first title, brown stain in margins of second part, but a very good copy in contemporary vellum with remains of ties, manuscript lettering (in English) at head of spine.

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Fourth edition. This is one of two issues to appear at Rouen in the same year, the other bearing the imprint of Jean Berthelin. Baudier’s much-read account of Turkish customs first appeared in 1624. The author was ‘a popularizer of general knowledge of the Ottoman Empire, and by emphasizing the dramatic and melodramatic aspects of Turkish life, customs, and manners, probably did most to spread knowledge of Turkey through 17th-century France . . . . There is no evidence that Baudier ever visited the Levant’ (Blackmer). Although the illustration of a giraffe he provides is one of the earliest to be widely diffused in Europe, his claim actually to have seen one in Constantinople is undermined by his description: ‘ses jambes de devant sont quatre ou cinq fois plus hautes que celles de derriere.’

Baudier was court historiographer to Louis XIII. Little is known about him and his life is most often summarized by a list of his published works; he was the author of several biographies of notable historical figures, including Abbot Suger, Cardinal Ximenes, Cardinal Wolsey and Margaret of Anjou. According to the DBF ‘il voyagea, il changea ses terres contre des livres, des manuscrits, des antiquités ou des monnaies; aussi mourut-il a peu pres ruiné’. His death is conjectured from the date of his last published work (1645).

Blackmer 94.

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