DEPICTING ONE OF THE FIRST GREAT CASTLE BUILDERS

Breviculum fundationis et series abbatum sancti Nicolai Andegavensis.

Angers, Antoine Hernault, 1616.

4to, pp. [iv], 76, [2 including errata], [4 blank]; with two engraved plates; one or two spots, a very good copy in eighteenth-century polished calf, triple ruled gilt border to sides, gilt paneled spine with morocco lettering-piece; minute chip at head of spine, extremities rubbed, corners a little worn, repaired abrasion to the upper side, a few light stains; several minor contemporary corrections in ink to the text, mostly reproducing the versions indicated in the errata, and a seventeenth-century inscription to the verso of the front free end-paper with a notice about the author.

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Rare first edition. This first appearance in print of documents relating to the foundation, history and abbots of the Abbaye Saint-Nicolas in Angers, in the Loire, is an important record since the original charters were dispersed and disappeared in the eighteenth century. The abbey was founded around 1020 by Fulk III, count of Anjou, famous as one of the first great builders of medieval castles. Le Peletier, a doctor of theology at the university of Angers, published a second work on the abbey in 1635.
 
Le Peletier’s edition is illustrated with two attractive copper engravings, the first depicting Fulk, in his armour, receiving a bull from a seated Pope Benedict VIII, and the second showing Fulk with his son Geoffrey II ‘Martel’ (who fought against William the Conqueror), resplendent with their armour, swords and shields.
 
BM STC French 1601-1700 p. 310. COPAC records a single copy at the British Library; no US copies are noted on Worldcat.

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