THE MEMORABLE EVENTS OF THE REIGN OF HENRY III, 1621 FIRST EDITION
(HENRY III) L’ESTOILE, Pierre de. Journal des Choses Memorables Advenues durant tout le Regne de Henry III, Roy de France & de Pologne. [Paris]: no publisher, 1621. Two parts in one. Octavo, contemporary full brown calf rebacked, raised bands. $600.
First edition of this account of the turbulent reign of Henry III, king of France and Poland, last of the Valois kings.
Among primary sources for the reign of Henry III, the diary of Pierre de l’Estoile is remarkable for the light it sheds on the personal life, the feelings and thoughts of a controversial monarch. The diary was never intended for publication. Material from it, however, was edited as the Journal de Henri III by Louis Servin in 1621 (this edition) and by Nicolas Lenglet Du Fresnoy in 1744. In it l’Estoile transcribes “rumors about the king’s sexual interests and about the group of young men with whom he surrounded himself, the mignons, whose dress and manner apparently suggested sodomy to everyone… L’Estoile includes in his collection a poem that asserts that ‘the actual reason he doesn’t have any [children] is that he really doesn’t tend that way” (Byrne R.S. Fone). Text in French. Brunet III, 1019. Graesse IV, 181.
Interior generally clean, contemporary calf attractive.