Le Marquis ridicule, ou la comtesse faite à la haste. Comedie … Suivant la copie imprimée a Paris.

[Leiden, Elzevier], 1656.

[bound with:]

[―] L’Escolier de Salamanque, ou les genereux ennemis. Tragi-comedie … Suivant la copie imprimée a Paris. [Leiden, Elzevier], 1657.

Two works in one vol., 12mo., pp. 93, [3, blank]; and pp. 95, [1]; fine copies bound in full dark blue morocco janseniste by Duru (stamp to front free endpaper), turn-ins roll-tooled in gilt, gilt edges, non-pareil marbled endpapers, blue ribbon place-marker; provenance: M. Millot, collector and bibliographer of Elzevier, his sale of 1846; Charles Pieters, author of Annales de l’Imprimerie des Elzevir (1858), with bookplate; the Lyonnais bibliophile Joseph Rénard (1822 – 1882), with bookplate and neat manuscript notes to front endpaper, sale of 1881; the Argentine lawyer and collector Eduardo J. Bullrich, sold by Sotheby’s in 1952 (bought by Maggs, £12).


US $1338€1364

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First Elzevier editions, very rare, of these two plays by Scarron, pirated after the text of the first editions printed in Paris. A finely bound volume with excellent Elzevierian provenance.

Best known for his Roman comique (1651-7), a vivid picaresque about a company of strolling players, and as the first husband of the marquise de Maintenon, later wife of Louis XIV, Scarron was also a successful playwright who influenced Molière, adapting Spanish sources to the French stage. Le marquis ridicule (1656) is a bumpkin satire set in Madrid; L’Escolier de Salamanque (1655) ‘est un des plus beaux sujets Espagnols, qui ait paru sur le Theatre François depuis la belle Comedie du Cid’ (dedication).

The first editions of these plays are of great rarity, but these contemporary piracies, which were a staple of the Elzeviers, are also extremely scarce. Of Le Marquis ridicule we have been able to trace only three copies, at Trinity College Dublin, Heidelberg, and Leiden (and only one copy of the first edition, at the Bibliothèque nationale); and of L’Escolier de Salamanque only five copies (Senate House, and four in mainland Europe), plus two of the first edition. There have been no copies of any edition sold at auction since this volume last appeared in 1952.

Willems 793 and 810; Pieters 92 and 98 (these copies); Rahir 797 and 814 (these copies).

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