Title: Les Hommes illustres qui ont paru en France ...
Publisher: Chez Matthieu Rogguet, La Haye (The Hague)
Publication Date: 1698
Book Condition: Very Good
Edition: 1st Edition
8vo (145 x 95mm). , 275pp. Title printed in red and black. 18th-century mottled calf; (hinges starting, otherwise internally very bright and good). Title inscribed by owner "M. Wynants." Unidentified early armorial bookplate by J. Harrewyn, Belgian engraver. Perhaps in Belgium for many generations until acquired in Paris by bookseller Jean Clavreuil, his ticket on front pastedown. Early front free endpaper inscription stating this is the most esteemed of Perrault’s works. Perrault as a moralist "Les hommes illustre," perhaps one of the least-known works penned by the author of the celebrated "Contes." Les Hommes illustres is among Perrault’s least-known works. Originally published in two volumes in 1696 and 1700, with a second edition also in 1700, it consists of biographies (‘éloges historiques’) of one hundred famous Frenchmen who had died during the course of the seventeenth century. This is the first Hague edition. In this work Perrault classifies and analyzes his subjects using categories and terminology familiar to other contemporary moralists. Perrault was open to new ideas; nevertheless, he shared the political and religious conservatism of France’s ruling elite. The scope of Perrault’s geographical knowledge, encompassing the New World, Asia, and the Middle East, was extensive. Taken as a whole, the biographical notices of Les Hommes illustres evokes greatly these three parts of the globe. French attitudes to the exotic in the 1690s illustrate a significant shift in European sensibility. Perrault provides offers a fascinating snapshot of contemporary attitudes to a variety of subjects, including "the exotic" in his panorama of French society. Bookseller Inventory # D7868
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