LA BRUYERE, Jean deLes Caractères de Théophraste traduits du grec, avec les Caractères ou les moeurs de ce siècle. Huitième édition, revue, corrigée et augmentée.
Paris, Estienne Michallet, 1694.
8vo, early 18th century olive brown levant morocco richly gilt, large dentelle around sides, spine gilt with 5 raised bands and 2 red morocco lettering pieces, small inner gilt bordure, marbled paper doublures and endpapers, all edges gilt. (32) pp. (of which the title in red and black), 716 pp., XLIV pp. Discours, (8) pp. of table and privilège, 2 blanks. Complete.
The 8th “First Edition” and the most complete edition of this classic of French prose with 1120 portraits of men and women of letters and society. Intermediate Issue, with a few characteristics of the first issue and cartons (see Tchemerzine).
This edition contains the first impression of La Bruyère’s “Discours prononcé à l’Académie Françoise” in 8vo format.
La Bruyère (1644-1696), French essayist and moralist, first published his work in 1688. It brought him many enemies, among them Corneille and Fontenelle, who were ridiculed in the book, as well as other persons of society. The result was that La Bruyère’s election to the French Academy was delayed until 1693. He continued to add witty portrayals of his contemporaries in subsequent editions. Forty-six new portraits were added to the present edition and it is the last edition augmented and revised by the author himself, thus the definitive edition (the 9th edition being just a mere copy of this edition). Most of the additions are indicated by a small hand printed in the margins.
Marginalia in ink by a contemporary hand offering clues (names and places).
A very good copy in elegant decorated morocco binding of the early 18th century.