FAMOUS WOMEN

De memorabilibus et claris mulieribus aliquot diversorum scriptorum opera.

Paris, apud Simon de Colines, 1521.

£4,500

FIRST EDITION. Folio. ff. 176 [ii] 177 219 [iii]. a-x8, y10, z8, A-E6, F8. Roman letter. Title with Simon de Coline’s beautiful white on black criblé ‘Rabbit’ device (Renouard 15) fine white on black criblé floriated initials, ‘DUP’ ms at head of first fly, “Claude Gabriel Poquet de Livonniere” on title, early autograph crossed out below, bibliographical note in smaller hand at foot, one or two marginal ms annotations. Light age yellowing, t-p fractionally dusty. A fine copy in beautiful late C17th red morocco bound for Louis Henri Compte de Lomenie, (Guigard II 327), covers bordered with a triple gilt rule Lomenie’s arms gilt at centres, spine with gilt ruled raised bands, gilt ruled in compartments, richly gilt with small tools, tan morocco label gilt lettered, edges with double gilt rule, inner dentelles gilt, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt over marbling, extremities a little rubbed and scratched.

A fine copy of the first edition of this rare anthology of works on the lives of famous women, edited by Jean Tixier, beautifully bound in red morocco, possibly by Duseuil, for the celebrated bibliophile Lomenie de Brienne. Beautifully printed, it is one of the first major works printed by the great French printer Simon de Colines under his own name. “A collection of ancient and renaissance texts dealing with famous women, edited by Jean Tixier de Ravisi (Ravisius Textor), who dedicates the volume to Jeanne de Vuigancourt, wife of Charles Guillart, president of the Parliament. The volume opens with Plutarchs De claris mulieribus (in the Latin version by Alamannus Rinuccinus: first published at Brescia , 1485, and includes the popular work of the same title by Jacopo Filippo Foresti (first published in 1497), the life of St. Catherine of Sienna, by Jean de Pins (Bologna 1505), and a section on scholarly women (including Sappho, St. Elizabeth of Schonau, and St. Hildegard) by Baptista Fregoso. One of the most interesting pieces consists of the Neolatin epic on Joan of Arc (De gestis Ioannae Gallicae) by Valerand de la Varanne (Valerius Varanius) which had first been printed seperately in 1516. .. This is the second printing of this compelling text. See Brunet V, 1085. Tixier has also contributed some original texts, among them an essay on famous prostiutes (fols. B1v – B3v.)” Schreiber. 

“One of the most interesting books in the catalogue tradition is an unfinished, anonymous catalogue that appeared in a 1521 anthology of women’s lives compiled by Jean Tixier de Ravisi. This work consists almost solely of captions without lives. Clearly the anonymous author intended first to slot all known women into one type or another and then to add names and vitae later. Among the authors captions are ‘Poetesses’, ‘Virgins and Martyrs,’ ‘Common Whores,’ ‘Prostitutes Converted to Virtue,’ and ‘illustrious Queens’; also listed under separate headings are ‘Women who wore mens clothes’ and ‘Women who were sometimes Men Sometimes Women.’” Barbara K. Gold ed. ‘Sex and Gender in Medieval and Renaissance Texts: The Latin Tradition.’

Claude-Gabriel Pocquet de Livonnière 1684 – 1762, Angers), was a french lawyer and scholar, who succeeded his father as professor of French Law at the University of Angers where he later became rector. From the extraordinary collection of Louis-Henri de Loménie, comte de Brienne (1635-1698). His madness, brought on by the death of his wife, relieved by periods of lucidity, did not prevent him from writing memoirs which present much invaluable historical information, nor from assembling a fine library, on which he spent almost 80,000 livres. “Presque tous ses livres sortait des mains de Dusseuil” Guigard. After his death, the collection was dispersed by his son in, also named Louis-Henri. “Au grand détriment de la bibliophilie française” (Guigard, 328), it was sold by the London bookseller James Woodman in 1724. Morocco bindings with Loménie de Brienne’s arms are now rare. 

USTC 145382. Schreiber 5. Moreau III 233. Renouard ‘Colines’ p.20-21. Adams R201.

L2159

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