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B?lisaire.

Marmontel, Jean Fran?ois.

Published by Chez Merlin, Paris, 1767
Hardcover
From SessaBks (ABAA, ILAB) (Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)

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First edition, early state, featuring the frontispiece and three copper-engraved plates designed by Gravelot. Quickly translated into numerous languages following its initial publication, Marmontel's controversial philosophical novel was written in great part in the hope that its retelling of the story of Gen. Flavius Beisarius of the Byzantine Empire would convince Louis XV to become, himself, the longed-for Philosopher-King. Chapter 15, however, in which Marmontel advocates freedom of opinion and religious tolerance, inspired extensive commentary by Voltaire and others and brought on condemnation by both the Sorbonne and the Archbishop of Paris ? though it may ultimately have helped the Huguenot cause. Merlin also printed a duodecimo edition in 1767; in the present edition, "Fragmens de philosophie morale" is found on pp. 273?340, followed by the Addition and Approbation. Provenance: Front pastedown with large, round, gilt-stamped armorial leather bookplate of notable 19th-century book collector Edward Hailcrone; smaller, round, cream-colored leather gilt-stamped ?I.T.? bookplate with motto ?Inter folia fructus? of 19th-century bookseller and bookcollector James Toovey; and paper bookplate of Sir Montague Shearman. Binding: Contemporary crimson morocco, covers framed in gilt triple fillets; spine gilt extra with gilt-stamped leather labels, board edges and turn-ins with gilt rolls. This volume (complete in itself) seems at one time to have been part of a set of Marmontel's works, and bears an (unnumbered) spine label reading "Oeuvres de Marmontel." 8vo (19.9 cm, 7.8"). [4], x, 340, [6] pp.; 4 plts. Brunet, III, 1440; Cohen de Ricci, Guide de l?amateur de livres ? gravures du XVIIIe si?cle, 688; Graesse 406; Tchermezine 455. Binding as above, with edges, extremities, and joints showing minor rubbing. Front pastedown with bookplates as above; front free endpaper with affixed slip of early cataloguing; rear pastedown with small chip out of paper. Light spots of foxing, slightly heavier around plates. All edges gilt. Bookseller Inventory # 25776

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Bibliographic Details

Title: B?lisaire.

Publisher: Chez Merlin, Paris

Publication Date: 1767

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: 1st Edition

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