Elegant binding by Bozerian jeune

BEROALDE DE VERVILLE (François Brouart, known as)

Le Salmigondis, ou le manège du genre humain.

Liège, Louis Refort [Amsterdam, Heirs of Antoine Schelte], 1698.

12mo, early 19th century full green straight-grained morocco by Bozerian Jeune, sides with gilt frame, spine with 5 gilt raised bands, gilt title, small gilt fleurette in compartments, inner gilt dentelle, all edges gilt. 348 pp. (including the title with woodcut sphere). Complete.

Scarce edition, with a different title, of Beroalde de Verville’s most famous work, Le Moyen d’y parvenir, a milestone of French satirical literature. The present edition is generally added to the Elzevier collection.

François Béroalde de Verville was a French Renaissance novelist, poet and intellectual. He was the son of Matthieu Brouard (or Brouart), called “Béroalde”, a professor of Agrippa d’Aubigné and Pierre de l’Estoile and a Huguenot; his mother, Marie Bletz, was the niece of the humanist and Hebrew scholar François Vatable (called “Watebled”). During the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, his family fled to Geneva (1573), but Béroalde returned to Paris in 1581. During the civil wars, he abjured Calvinism and joined the factions around Henri III of France (he may also have served in the army). In 1589, he moved to Tours (the French parliament fled there from 1589-1594) and became chanoine (canon) of the cathedral chapter of Saint Gatien, where he remained until his death. Béroalde had close ties to the intellectual and creative milieus of the late 16th century and early 17th century (including Pierre de L’Estoile, Roland Brisset, Guy de Tours) and was under the protection of two conseillers du Roi (Pierre Brochard and René Crespin). His writings cover topics as varied as history, mathematics, optics, alchemy, medicine, painting, sculpture, love, silk… He wrote in both verse and prose and in all tones (satirical, moral, spiritual, philosophical, political). Béroalde represents literature of transition from the Valois court (and the generation of “La Pléiade”) to the Bourbon court of Henri IV and the baroque, and, like his contemporary Nicolas de Montreux, he attempted to compete with the translation of foreign masterpieces by the creation of original works in French.

His most famous work is the playful, chaotic, baroque, sometimes obscene Moyen de parvenir (first published around 1617) – a parody of books of “table talk” of Rabelais and of Michel de Montaigne’s Essays – in which a host of famous individuals debate, discuss and joke (with often coarse humour) about historical and philosophical matters.

Bookplate of the Marigues de Champ-Repus collection.

Beautiful copy.

Ref. Brunet, Manuel du libraire, V, 93 / De Theux, Bibliographie liégeoise, 380 /Gay-Lemonnyer, Bibliographie des ouvrages relatifs à l’amour, aux femmes et au mariage, III, 285-291 / Graesse, Trésor de livres rares et précieux, VI, p. 249 / Rahir, Les Elzevier, 2994 / Rahir, Bibliothèque de l’amateur, p. 316 / Tchemerzine, Bibliographie d’éditions originales et rares d’auteurs français des XVe, XVIe, XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles, II, p. 208 / Willems, Les Elzevier, 1960