QUEEN VICTORIA’S FATHER’S MISTRESS

Dieu est l’amour le plus pur, ma prière et ma contemplation.  Par Eckartshausen.  Paris, chez L. 

Duprat-Duverger, rue des Grands-Augustins, no. 21, [1805-1813]. 

8vo, pp. 253, [1 (advertisements)], with copper-engraved frontispiece; title copper-engraved; small marks to frontispiece, closed tear at foot of pp. 91-92; a very good copy in contemporary red straight-grained morocco, roll-tooled gilt floral border to covers, spine lettered and decorated in gilt, gilt edges, marbled endpapers, blue silk place marker; extremities and covers slightly rubbed; ‘Mme St Laurent’ lettered in gilt to upper cover, contemporary book label of the Parisian bookseller André Favre to front pastedown.

£475

Approximately:
US $596€555

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Scarce edition of a French translation of Gott ist die reinste Liebe by the German Catholic mystic Karl von Eckartshausen (1752–1803), this copy formerly in the possession of the long-term lover of Queen Victoria’s father. 

In addition to covering themes such as destiny, adversity, duty, conscience, and meditation, Eckartshausen’s work includes prayers for one’s enemies, parents, spouse, and children, as well as for times of war and stormy weather, and ends with a prayer attributed to the English writer Elizabeth Singer Rowe (1674–1737).  CERL notes that the publisher of this edition, Louis Duprat-Duverger, was resident at this address between the years 1805 and 1813.  The Parisian bookseller André Favre, who operated from the Palais-Royal and whose label appears inside the upper cover, died in 1817. 

Provenance: Madame de Saint-Laurent (1760–1830) was the mistress of Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn (1767–1820) – son of George III and father of Queen Victoria – for nearly twenty-eight years.  She accompanied Edward to Gibraltar and Québec, where she presided over the Duke’s household; while the couple do not appear to have had any children, several Canadian families have claimed descent from them.  Upon Edward’s marriage to Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld in 1818, Madame de Saint-Laurent moved to Paris, where she remained until her death. 

OCLC records one copy only of this edition in the US (Library of Congress) and none in the UK. 

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