First collective edition of the Bachelier de Salamanque
preserved in its fine contemporary armorial binding.
Lesage, Alain René. Le bachelier de Salamanque, ou les mémoires de D. Cherubin de La Ronda, tirés d’un manuscrit espagnol, Par Monsieur Lesage.
Paris, Valleyre Fils et Gissey, 1736 ; et La Haye (Paris), Pierre Gosse, 1738.
2 parts in 2 volumes 12mo [163 x 94 mm] of : I/ (4) ll., 378 pp., (3) ll., 3 fig. ; II/ (2) ll., 380 pp., (2) ff., 3 fig.
Full light-brown calf, blind-stamped fillet on the covers, arms stamped in gilt in the center, decorated ribbed spine, lettering pieces in red morocco, gilt fillet on leading edges, red edges. Contemporary armorial binding.
First collective edition of the Bachelier de Salamanque and first edition of part II, published for the first time in 1738, two years after the first volume.
Tchemerzine, IV, 190 ; Cordier, 628-630 ; Le Petit, 489-490 ; Cohen, 348 ; Rahir, Bibliothèque de l’amateur, 507 ; Catalogue J. de Rothschild, 1554.
“The title of part I was done over for this edition; part II is partly in first edition and contains books IV to VI. However, part I was re-printed for this edition.” (Tchemerzine)
Le Bachelier de Salamanque is the last novel by Lesage (1668-1747).
“After the success of the Diable boiteux and of Gil Blas de Santillane, Lesage once again gave a pseudo-Spanish environment to his last adventure and satire novel. It is the story of the adventures of a young Spanish bachelor who makes a living as a tutor. For Lesage, it is the opportunity to write a satire aimed at the leading class: lesser and more important aristocrats, wealthy bourgeoisie and the clergy.
Along the way, he shows us the daily lives of those who exist in the margins: the tutors, adventurers, matchmakers, all part of a colorful and complex world where those who make it can only use intrigue and deception to rise above their condition. It is a bit less violent but not any less cynical than Beaumarchais’s verve in the Barbier de Séville. Lesage is ahead by several decades of the spirit of his time.”
A precious copy, one of the rare ones preserved in its elegant contemporary light-brown calf binding with the arms of the comte du Bourg (1655-1739).
Léonor-Marie du Maine, comte du Bourg, baron de Lespinasse et de Changy, started as a pageboy in the Great Stables in 1671 ; lieutenant-général in 1702, he became chevalier du Saint-Esprit in September 1709 and maréchal de France in February 1724. He received the government of Haute et Basse Alsace in 1730, with the general command of the province and the government of Belfort.