“HOW CAN ONE CALL ‘HOLY’ A COURT THAT VIOLATES THE SACRED LAWS OF JESUS CHRIST AND THE CHURCH?”: DELLON’S 1688 MEMOIR OF THE INQUISITION OF GOA, INDIA, WITH FOLDING ENGRAVINGS OF AN AUTO DA FE
(INQUISITION) [DELLON, Charles, a.k.a. Gabriel]. Relation de l’Inquisition de Goa. Paris: Daniel Horthemels, 1688. 12mo, period-style full speckled calf, raised bands, red morocco spine label; pp. (16), 251, (13). $1250.
First French edition and first illustrated edition, published just one year after the first, of this memoir of the ordeal of the French physician Charles Dellon at the hands of the Portuguese Inquisition in Goa, India. With six engraved plates (three folding) by Cornelis Vermeulen after P. Sevin.
Dellon (1649-1709) was a French Roman Catholic physician who traveled in the Indies. In 1673 he provoked the jealousy of the Governor of Damao who, in league with authorities of the Portuguese Inquisition, arrested him and had him transported to Goa to face the Inquisitor. After two years of torture the Inquisition, deaf to Dellon’s pleas, confiscated all of his property and sentenced him to serve five years on the galleys. However, on arrival in Lisbon Dellon reopened and pleaded his case before the Grand Tribunal, who granted him his freedom. Even Catholic France—as evidenced by the King’s approval—became indignant at Inquisitional methods in this case. Dellon’s anonymous account of his misfortunes became very popular, and ran to many editions despite being placed on the Index of Prohibited Books in 1690. The first edition was published in Leiden in 1687, with no illustrations. The three full-page plates depict penitents accused of different crimes in their official regalia; the three folding plates illustrate the procession of the Inquisition into a church, the Inquisition in session within the church, and penitents being led from the church to be burned at the stake. Also with three engraved in-text vignettes and engraved printer’s mark on title page. Text in French. Caillet 2954. Fesch 466. Yve-Plessus 1139. Rosenthal, Magica, 4725. From the library of noted collector and former curator of New York’s Jewish Museum Daniel M. Friedenberg, with his bookplate.
Interior generally clean, plates fine. A handsome copy.