FINELY BOUND WITH THE ROYAL ARMS OF LOUIS XV
POLMANO, Joanne. Breviarium Theologicum, Continens Definitiones, Descriptiones, & Explicationes Terminorum Theologicorum. Rouen: Richardum Lallemant, 1691. Thick 12mo, contemporary full mottled calf, front cover stamped with coat-of-arms of France in gilt, rebacked with elaborately gilt-decorated spine laid down, raised bands, red morocco spine label, marbled endpapers. $2800.
Later edition of this French breviary in Latin, handsomely bound in contemporary calf-gilt with the Bourbon royal arms of Louis XV “le bien-aimé” tooled in gilt on the front cover.
In the year 1744, while hastening from his conquests in Flanders during the war of the Austrian Succession to assist Alsace, Louis XV was felled by a malady at Metz which threatened to cut short his reign. According to the Abrégé Chronologique de l'Histoire de France, "At the news of this, Paris, all in terror, seemed a city taken by storm: the churches resounded with supplications and groans; the prayers of priests and people were every moment interrupted by their sobs: and it was from an interest so dear and tender that this surname of Bien-aimé fashioned itself, a title higher still than all the rest which this great Prince has earned" (Paris, 1775). Louis XV spent five days in October, 1744 recuperating from this illness in Strasbourg. Despite the resounding victory shortly thereafter at Fontenoy on 11 May 1745, Louis XV's reputation from then on was in decline. His philandering continued to grow after 1744, tarnishing his reputation among his subjects and undermining the myth of the "well loved" king assiduously cultivated by the crown. The reputation of the monarchy never recovered from the damage done to it by Louis XV, causing him apparently to utter the apochryphal words, "Après moi le déluge." The Breviarum is essentially a religious dictionary, supplying definitions and descriptions for theological terminology. First published in 1653. Text in Latin. Owner ink stamp on title page; early owner signature to title page and front flyleaf.
Text clean and fine; light expert restoration to 18th-century French armorial binding.