Two parts in one vol., 12mo, pp. [x], 413, ; [ii], 318, [6, contents]; woodcut initials, head- and tailpieces; quite tightly bound, light toning, small mark to half title of part I; a very good, attractive copy in contemporary calf, gilt fillet border with corner fleurons to covers, spine gilt in compartments with gilt-lettered red morocco labels, edges red, marbled endpapers, paper label at foot of spine; corners a little worn; book label of Mde De Lailly to front pastedown.
US $653 €561
Rare first edition of this memoir of the career of the influential Italian cardinal Rinaldo d’Este (1618-1673), compiled by one of his entourage who served with him for 16 years. Born in Modena, son of duke Alfonso III, Este was brought up in France, entered the church, and rose quickly. Elected cardinal in 1641, he became the leader of the French faction at Rome, the ‘protecteur de la France’ at the papal court. Over the coming decades, Este played a tricky role in balancing the interests of Modena, the pope, and Louis XIV, especially under the papacy of the Spanish-backed Alexander VII. While his timidity prevented him from scaling greater heights, there is no doubt that he played a significant role in the European politico-religious affairs of his day. Louis XIV described him as a ‘prince plein d’honneur’, and a man ‘de grande suffisance et dextérité dans le maniement des affaires’, making him abbot of Cluny in succession to Mazarin. The Memoires contains transcriptions of some of Este’s considerable correspondence, including letters to Henri-Auguste de Loménie, comte de Brienne, secretary of state for foreign affairs under Mazarin.
No copies are recorded on COPAC; OCLC notes only one copy in the US, at Yale.
You may also be interested in...
Le financier citoyen.
A fine copy of the first edition of this anonymously published work on the financial administration of France. All we know about Jean-Baptiste Naveau (1716–1762) is that he was ‘directeur de correspondance et fermier des devoirs de Bretagne’ (Quérard). This work examines the policies of the ministry of finance since the beginning of the seventeenth century, and reflects upon the major economic theories of that period. Naveau goes on to question the financial policies of his day and the impact on the national resources, farming in particular. He then discusses the current system of taxation and its impact on the social classes, agriculture, trade and consumption. Naveau’s ideas on taxation were critically reviewed by Voltaire in his L’homme aux quarante Écus (1768).
‘THE BOOKSELLERS GROW RICHWITHOUT UNDERSTANDING THE BOOKS THEY SELL’ LETTERS ON THE FRENCH NATION
: by a Sicilian Gentleman resident in Paris, to his Friend in his own Country. Containing an useful and impartial Critique on that City, and the French Nation. Translated from the Original.
First edition of this translation, very rare, of a work first printed in French in Paris in 1700 (see below) and, in a different translation, in English in 1704 as An agreeable Criticism of the City of Paris.