Manuscript on paper, 4to, pp. 158, [32 (blank)], with 4 copper-engraved portraits bound in; neatly written in French in brown and black ink in a single hand, c. 19 lines per page, within a red-ruled frame; an excellent copy; bound in French mottled calf, borders triple-filleted in gilt, spine gilt in compartments with gilt-lettered red morocco label, edges speckled blue, marbled endpapers, sewn on five cords laced in; corners a little bumped, short split to front joint, tailcap chipped; engraved armorial bookplate of Admiral Archibald Duff (Franks 9203) to front pastedown.
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Les Amours d’Anne d’Austriche, Epouse de Louis 13. Avec le Cardinal Richelieu Le Veritable Pere de Louis 14. Aujourd’huy Roy de France. Ou l’on voit au long comment on s’y prit pour donner un Heritier à la couronne, les resors qu’on fit jouer pour cela, & enfin tout le denouement de cette Comédie.
An early manuscript copy of a salacious – and treasonous – history arguing that Louis XIV was the illegitimate child of Anne of Austria and Cardinal Richelieu, bound with four engravings.
Translated from the 1691 anonymous London-printed The French King Proved a Bastard: or The Amours of Anne with the Cavalier de Roan, the work appeared in French as Les Amours d’Anne d’Austriche under a false Cologne imprint in 1692; in questioning the King’s legitimacy, the work portrays Louis XIV as an imposter, his father as impotent, and his mother as an adulterer. Our carefully executed manuscript appears to be copied from the third edition of 1696, printed by ‘Pierre Marteau’; the fictitious imprint (known also in translation as Pietro Martello, Peter Hammer, &c.) was used widely throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by many printers, including often the Elzevirs, wishing to conceal their identity as a protection against censorship.
Bound in before the text are four engraved portraits, depicting Anne of Austria, Louis XIII, Armand-Jean du Plessis, Cardinal Richelieu, and a young Louis XIV. Those of Anne of Austria and Richelieu are signed by Pierre Daret, engraver to the King, and appear in his celebrated Tableaux historiques, ou sont gravez les illustres francois et estrangers. The engravings of Louis XIII and Louis XIV, conversely, are signed by Balthasar Moncornet. Curiously, the verso of the engraving of Richelieu (dated 1652) bears offsetting of the title-page of the very scarce pamphlet Declaration du Roy, contres les officiers & habitans de Bordeaux, printed at Paris in the same year.
1. This copy is almost certainly the manuscript which appeared at auction as lot 1391 in the Catalogue des livres composant la bibliothèque de feu M. Duff (Paris, 15 May 1837). It seems reasonable to identify Monsieur Duff as John Duff, sixth of Drummuir (1772–1836), who studied at Edinburgh University before being sent, circa 1789, to Paris to learn French; he was driven away by the Revolution and continued his studies in Lausanne, but on retiring from the army in 1798 he moved to Paris, where he died and was buried in 1836.
2. Vice-Admiral Archibald Duff, seventh of Drummuir (1773–1858), younger brother and heir of the above. Vice-Admiral Duff led a distinguished career in the Royal Navy, serving with Nelson in the Napoleonic Wars and receiving both the Turkish gold medal for his role in the Egyptian campaign and the gold medal of the Royal Humane Society for his ‘intrepid and manly exertions’ in jumping overboard at night to save another man.
For John and Archibald Duff of Drummuir, see The Book of the Duffs (1914) II, pp. 393-400.
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