LIFE OF AN AMOROUS ABBOT

Le moine galant, ou la vie de Don F… Bernardin, ecrite par lui-même. 

[S.l., s.n.,] 1756. 

8vo, pp. 78; without final blank; dedication signed ‘Le Ch. de R**’; small holes to inner margins from original stab-stitching; a very good copy in later calf-backed boards with paste-paper sides; some wear to extremities and small abrasions to covers; old bookseller’s ticket to front pastedown.

£450

Approximately:
US $570€527

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Le moine galant, ou la vie de Don F… Bernardin, ecrite par lui-même. 

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Scarce first edition of this satirical ‘autobiography’ of a pleasure-driven law student turned monk, replete with amorous adventures. 

Le moine galant traces the career of the author from his youth on the banks of the Meuse, to his time in Paris (supposedly studying law but in fact ruining his finances on the capital’s pleasures), through his noviciate in a monastery, to his rise to the rank of Abbot, to his eventual disgrace and exile.  There are love affairs throughout: with the young blonde wife of a Parisian advocate with whom he lodges; with the daughter of the porter of his convent, upon the discovery of which he is condemned to solitary confinement and bread and water for a month; with a nobleman’s daughter, who only loves his money; and finally with the widow of a cavalry officer, whose other lover he kills in a duel.  He is motivated entirely by his own pleasure, writing with relish of his abbacy that ‘gaming, eating, hunting, and loving became my only occupations’. 

Only one copy traced in the UK (BL), and three in the US (Johns Hopkins, Louisiana State, Princeton). 

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