8vo, pp. , 243 (i.e. 253), ; ornament to title-page, initials; light damp stain to lower corner of D1, small burn mark to I5, printed slip correcting one line of verse pasted to p. 243; a very good copy bound in 17th-century calf, five raised bands, spine richly gilt with gilt lettering-piece, gilt border to covers, gilt edges and turn-ins, marbled endpapers and edges; upper joint slightly cracked at top, extremities a little rubbed; bookplate removed from front pastedown, ink note facing title.
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Apologie pour Iehan Chastel Parisien, execute a mort, et pour les peres & escholliers, de la Societé de Iesus, bannis du royaume de France. Contre l’arrest de Parlement, donné contre eux a Paris, le 29 Decembre, 1594. Diuisée en cinq parties. Par François de Verone Constantin.
First edition of Boucher’s pseudonymous apology for Jean Châtel’s attempted assassination of Henri IV, described by the author as an ‘acte heroique’. Boucher (1548-1644) was prior and rector of the Sorbonne and an active member of the Catholic League who openly incited violent revolt against Henry III and Henry IV, refusing to accept the latter’s conversion to Catholicism. The Apologie was written during his exile in the Netherlands. On 27 December 1594, the nineteen-year-old Châtel attacked Henri IV with a knife in the chamber of his mistress Gabrielle d’Estrées, cutting the king’s lip and breaking a tooth. While Châtel was publicly tortured and dismembered, an enquiry discovered that he had studied with the Jesuits at the Collège de Clermont. The Jesuits were quickly accused of supporting Châtel’s attempted regicide; Père Guignard, the Jesuits’ librarian in Paris, was publicly executed and the Jesuits were expelled from France by parliamentary decree. In addition to defending Châtel, Boucher deplores the actions against the Jesuits and encourages a new attempt on Henri’s life.
A second edition of the Apologie appeared in 1610 following Henri’s assassination by François Ravaillac, and a Latin translation, entitled Jesuita Sicarius, was published in 1611.
Adams B2569; Brunet V, 1146. COPAC records four copies (British Library, Cambridge University Library, LSE, Merton College Oxford).
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Second, corrected and improved, edition (first 1671) of this attractive German survey of English kings and queens. After describing the rulers in the seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England (Wessex, Sussex, Essex, Kent, East Anglia, Northumbria, and Mercia), Beer discusses the kings from Egbert to Harold II before devoting the remainder of his work to monarchs from William the Conqueror to Charles II, who are depicted on the accompanying plates together with their escutcheons and the dates of their reigns. Important epithets are given, such as ‘Bellus Clericus’ (Beauclerc) for Henry I, and ‘Cor Leonis’ (Lionheart) for Richard I, shown with a lion at his feet and a bolt in his shoulder. Beer (1638-1712) was something of an expert on European monarchs, also publishing works on the rulers of Austria, Hungary, Spain, Denmark, and Sweden.
BL German 1601-1700, B613; VD17 23:312763A. COPAC shows copies at the British Library and Oxford only.
PAULE, Sir George.
The Life of the most reverend and religious Prelate John Whitgift, Lord Archbishop of Canterbury …
First edition. The author of this sympathetic biography had entered Whitgift’s service in 1584, at the age of twenty-one, and by 1599 he was comptroller of the Archbishop’s household. In the dedication to the new Archbishop, George Abbot, he writes that his ‘heart shall never be ungratefull’ to ‘your Graces late Predecessour’, and that his aim is ‘to shew mine owne obligation to his memorie, and to make knowne his worthie parts to future ages’. Nonetheless the work is not hagiography but ‘an invaluable source for the Archbishop’s tenure by an insider’ (Oxford DNB).