EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED COPY OF THE FRENCH ANAS, 1805, IN HANDSOME CONTEMPORARY BINDING IN THE STYLE OF PAYNE
GARNIER, Charles Georges Thomas and BEAUCOUSIN, Christophe Jean Françoise. The French Anas. London: Richard Phillips (Slatter & Munday, Oxford), 1805. Three volumes. Small octavo, contemporary full navy straight-grain morocco, raised bands, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, all edges gilt. $900.
Second English language edition of this compilation of observations, criticisms and witticisms of eminent 16th- and 17th-century European thinkers, with engraved title pages and extra-illustrated with 36 portraits of the principals, handsomely bound in the style of 18th-century master Roger Payne.
First appearing in English in 1797 as Selections from the French Anas, this translation of Ana, ou, Collection de bons mots, contes, pensées détachées, traits d’histoire et anecdotes des hommes célèbres, originally compiled by C.G.T. Garnier and C.J.F. Beaucousin in 1789, contains the critical reflections, opinions, jests and anecdotes of European luminaries, primarily from the 16th and 17th centuries: Poggio, Du Perron, Valois, Naudé, Patin, Sorbiere, Segrais, Longuerue, Furetiere, Duchat, Charpentier, Santeuil, Colomies, Scaliger, Menage, Boileau, Chevreau, St. Evremond, Huet, Luther, and Vigneul-Marville (pseudonym of Bonaventure dArgonne). “Sometimes there are in these collections jests and stories of too ludicrous a nature, some false and partial criticisms, some spurious anecdotes of great men, some blunders and some falsehoods, and some reports of persons, which candor should have suppressed? These sayings or stories have merit, or they have not: if therefore the reader is not disgusted, nor the supposed author disgraced by their insertion, what injury can they bring on the cause of literature?” (Preface). This copy is extra-illustrated with 36 engraved portraits of the authors and their contemporaries from other sources. Armorial bookplate of W.R. Grace, probably William Russell Grace, mayor of New York City and the founder of the W.R. Grace steamship line.
Text fine, with only occasional light offsetting from engravings to letterpress, loss to top ends of two volumes. A handsome copy, bound in 18th-century style.