Literature of the Enlightenment: a dozen titles bound in a single volume

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Sammelband of a dozen 18th century titles: featuring four works from Charles-Pierre Colardeau (1732-1776), credited with reviving a poetic form largely forgotten since the time of Ovid, the héroïde.  The form, a letter in verse, expressed in lyric and elegiac tones, and often under the name of some famous hero or celebrated personage, became exceedingly popular in the second half of the 18th century.  Colardeau’s success began in 1758, with Lettre d'Héloise a Abailard (an imitation of Alexander Pope’s 1717 “Eloisa to Abelard”), which brought him instant celebrity. Two additional works in the form are included, Abailard à Héloise and Armide à Renaud.

Colardeau’s works, including a fourth, Les Hommes de Prométhée (which owes a debt to Milton’s Paradise Lost, particularly Eve’s Lamentation in Book 11), are bound at the end of this collection of a dozen miscellaneous works, which is almost a primer for 18th century letters. There are three by Voltaire, among which are his devotional verses written for Madame de Pompadour and an Ode for Wilhelmine of Prussia, the sister of Frederic the Great. 

The pieces range from poetry to comic drama and translated verse from Latin, in short, a representative sampling of mid-eighteenth century French literature, brought together by a contemporary reader
(16 x 10.5 cm). Contemporary sheep, raised bands on the spine in gilt, edges stained red.  Joints showing wear and some rubbing to the binding, scattered spots to a few of the title pages, of this typical 18th century sammelband of 12 titles.  Most of the works are in small octavo format with a few in duodecimo. 

The volume includes the following 12 works:

1). [Voltaire]. La Bataille de Fontenoy, Poème. Quatrième édition, augmentée de plusieurs vers, & de beaucoup de Notes instructives. S.l.s.n., 1745 [at the foot of the final page: Lu et approuvé ce 17 mai 1745. Crébillon.]
8°: 12 pp.
Voltaire’s commemorative poem of the French victory over Anglo-Dutch-Hanoverian allied forces at Fontenoy, May 1745, a battle that generated a number of literary works.

2). [Marchand, Jean-Henri]. Requête du curé de Fontenoy, au Roy. Angers, chez Bossard, 1745 [at the end: l'Imprimerie de la veuve Hubault.]
8°: 11-[1]pp. Cropped short on the top edge, shaving some of the page numbering. OCLC lists no copy of this title with the Angers imprint.
“Reading Jean-Henri Marchand's texts allows us to glimpse an aspect of literary life that often remains in the shadow of historical and critical studies.”

Arguments for the virtues of national identity on full display

3). MARCHADIER, Abbé. Le Plaisir, comédie en un acte en vers, avec divertissement... Représenté pour la première fois sur le théâtre françois, le 3 Août 1747. Paris, chez Cailleau, 1749.
8°: 36 pp.
This brief allegorical comedy appeared on the Paris stage (1747-48) with some real success. Briefly, when Pleasure appears on the stage, representatives from France, England and Italy all attempt to lure it to their respective countries, France for taste and sentiment; England for reason and logic; Italy for music and ‘folie’… Cf. Veronika Studer-Kovacs, “Le plaisir de l’Autre. Identités nationales au miroir d’une fête francophone des Habsbourg à Tyrnau.” (2002).

4). Poisson, Philippe. L'In-promptu de Campagne, comédie en un acte, en vers ; par M. Poisson ; représentée pour la première fois par les comédiens ordinaires du Roi, en 1733. Paris, chez la veuve Duchesne, 1769.
12°: 58 pp. plus one blank leaf.
Philippe Poisson (1682-1743), whose stage name was Crispin III, was an actor and playwright. l’Impromptu de campagne first appeared in print more than 30 years earlier, but maintained enough interest to justify this latter printing.

5). [VOLTAIRE.] Ode sur la mort de son altesse royale madame la Markgrave de Bareith. S.l.n.d. [Geneva, 1759?]
12°: 24 pp., lacks the title page, and the second leaf is torn without loss. Yale lists a copy that seems to conform to ours (i.e., 12°: A12), which includes an unsigned preliminary leaf (the t-p) and the imprint “A Geneve : Aux dépens de l'auteur, 1759.” Another 1759 imprint is recorded with 35 pp.
Wilhelmine of Prussia, Margravine of Brandenburg-Bayreuth (1709-1758) was the older sister of Frederic the Great of Prussia, who never fully recovered from her loss. Voltaire’s Ode is a great tribute to her.

6). Robin, Claude. Traduction en vers françois, de l'élégie latine, ou ovidianum de M. Claude Robin, curé de S. Pierre d'Angers, Auteur du Mont-Glonne, ou Recherches sur les Origines. Par M. ***.
In auctorem Ovidianum ex Eleg. X lib. 4 Trist.
Bref de N.S.P. le Pape. Dilecto Filio Robin, Parocho Ecclesiae S. Petri Andegavensis
8°: 4 pp.; 8 pp.
A fragment from Claude Robin’s French translation of Latin verses, Oratio Pastoralis habita in Synodo Andegavensi anno M. DCC. L. [1750], Andegavi, Billault, 1776. Robin (1714-1794), was a Curé of the Saint-Pierre church, in Angers.

7). [Edme-Louis Billardon de Sauvigny.] Lettres philosophiques. Par M. Sauvigny, Gendarmes. A Bristol, chez les freres Rimeurs, 1756.
12°: 33, [3] pp. (final leaf blank).
Billardon de Sauvigny (1736?-1812), was the favored poet of the Louis XV’s last official mistress, Jeanne, Comtesse du Barry. The writer was hostile toward the philosophes at the very beginning of his career, and he always remained Voltaire's enemy; however, his relationship with Rousseau was quite amicable, the latter referring to Sauvigny as his “protegé.”

8). [VOLTAIRE.] Précis de l'Ecclésiaste, [...] A Amsterdam, aux dépens de la Compagnie, 1759.
8°: 16 pp. (Large window cut out of the title page, perhaps a former ownership mark).
The paraphrase translations Précis de l'Ecclésiaste , and the Précis du Cantique des Cantiques (Song of Songs) from the Hebrew were composed for Madame de Pompadour (the “personne respectable” mentioned in the preface), who wished to give herself over to devotion. The verses were printed in the Louvre, but Voltaire's efforts were nevertheless condemned to the flames on September 3, 1759. It was after their suppression that Voltaire dedicated his Ecclésiaste to the King of Prussia.

9). COLARDEAU. Les Hommes de Prométhée, poëme. A Syracuse, 1775.
8°: x, 20, [2] pp. (final leaf blank).
In this work Colardeau describes Prometheus’ creation of first man and woman and their discovery of romantic love. Colardeau was so influenced by Eve’s Lamentation in Book 11 Milton’s Paradise Lost, that he drew on it heavily for parts of the present work. Quérard 2.241 lists a Paris & Amsterdam ed. for the same year—here, Syracuse is a false imprint.

10). COLARDEAU (Charles-Pierre.) Lettre d'Héloise a Abailard, traduction libre de M. Pope. Par M. C.***. Au Paraclet [i.e. Paris], 1762.
8°: 24 pp. Later printing.

11). [COLARDEAU; and Dorat, Claude-Joseph]. Abailard à Héloise. A Cluny, 1763. 8°: 16 pp. A note indicates that this piece is the work of Colardeau and another, identified as Dorat by Barbier I.12; later printing.

12). Héroïde. Armide à Renaud. Par M. Colardo, Auteur de la lettre d'Héloise & d'Astarbé. A Londres, aux dépens de la Compagnie, 1759. 8°: 23 pp. Text framed by a variety of typographic ornaments. Second(?) printing.

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