STIRRING SERMONS ON SIN

Sermones viginti et unus de peccatis apprime utiles fratris Anthonii Farinerii ordinis minoru[m] excelle[n]tissimi quonda[m] verbi divini declamatoris.  De unoquoq[ue] p[ec]c[a]to tres sermones texens …

(Colophon:) Lyons, Antoine du Ry, 23 November 1518. 

Small 8vo, ff. xlix, [3 (index)]; woodcut device of Simon Vincent to title (showing St Peter and St Paul with the Holy Face of Jesus), woodcut initials; light marginal dampstaining to a few leaves, some small worm holes touching the occasional letter, worm track to rear endpapers; overall very good in eighteenth-century red paste-paper boards, neatly rebacked with mottled calf, gilt spine label laid down (‘Sermon Farine’); early ink inscriptions of Nicolas Chavillot 1697 (title verso) and F. Duperroit (final page).

£1750

Approximately:
US $1951€1990

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Sermones viginti et unus de peccatis apprime utiles fratris Anthonii Farinerii ordinis minoru[m] excelle[n]tissimi quonda[m] verbi divini declamatoris.  De unoquoq[ue] p[ec]c[a]to tres sermones texens …

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Rare first edition of this collection of twenty-one sermons on the seven deadly sins by the fiery Franciscan preacher Antoine Farinier. 

Farinier’s provocative preaching to the Parisian populace caused Louis XI to banish him from France in 1487, prompting ‘great dismay among the crowds who had been coming to hear him’, who accompanied him out of the capital with ‘sighing and shrieking’ (L. Taylor, Soldiers of Christ (OUP, 1992) p. 36).  Farinier subsequently went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and participated in the defence of Rhodes against the Ottoman siege of 1480, dying shortly thereafter. 

Gathered here are three sermons each on the sins of pride, envy, wrath, sloth, greed, gluttony, and lust, detailing their various ‘branches’ and remedies against them.  Farinier gives considerable attention to sexual matters, including adultery, sex within the clergy, rape, sodomy, incest, and prostitution.  Prostitutes should, he argues, wear special clothing to distinguish them from honest women, and stick to certain quarters under the surveillance of the police.  ‘There are two types of brothel,’ he writes, ‘secret brothels in which bad women linger among the honest, which in no way should be tolerated … the second type is a public brothel where disreputable women are tolerated by the law to avoid worse evils such as sodomy … And they should wear some public sign so that recognised by all they might be avoided.  In the statutes of Sabaudia it is ordained that they wear two horns on their head, one palm in length, just like beasts’ (ff. 37v-38r). 

Provenance: inscription to verso of title, ‘Hic liber praedicationum attinet ad me Nicolaum Chauillot 1697’.  An earlier inscription to the final page promises wine to whoever finds and returns the book to its owner: ‘Ce present liure est a moy qui suis soubz signe qui le trouvera qui le me rende et je payre voulontier le vin F. Duperroit’. 

French Books III & IV 70276; Gültlingen III, p. 177:7.  No copies traced in the UK.  OCLC records only one copy in the US, at the University of Illinois. 

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