Essais, Montaigne

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Les Essais,

5, 500 

In stock


Montaigne’s Essais preserved in their contemporary overlapping vellum.

Paris, 1604.


Montaigne, Michel de. Les Essais de Michel Seigneur de Montaigne.  Édition nouvelle prise sur l’Exemplaire trouvé apres le deceds de l’Autheur, reveu & augmenté d’un tiers oultre les precedentes impressions. Enrichis de deux Tables curieusement exactes et elabourées. Viresq acquirit eundo.
Paris, Abel L’Angelier, 1604.

8vo [174 X 105 mm] of (4) ll., 1031 pp., (1) p., (31) ll., (1) bl. f.

Limp overlapping vellum, traces of ties, flat spine, handwritten title on spine, some scattered waterstains. Contemporary binding.

Precious and pleasant 17th century edition of the Essais.

Tchemerzine, IV, 881 ; Sayce & Maskel, 13 ; Bibliotheca Desaniana, n°35.

“Sixth and last edition of the Essais under the name of Abel L’Angelier, with a “portico” title, in parts printed according to the pirate editions Leyde A and Leyde B [Geneva] published in 1602. This edition probably results from a seizure of unsold copies to which L’Angelier might have given a new title page. In 1604 L’Angelier still owned the privilege for the Essais. However, the Genevese counterfeits did not allow him to undertake the publication of costly new editions in a market that was as of then too saturated and competitive. Soom after, L’Angelier abandoned the Essais.” (Ph. Desan)

“Last reprint of three 8vo edition by Abel L’Angelier.” (Tchemerzine)

Montaigne never ceased to annotate what he had written and these annotations sometimes somewhat contradict the primitive text but they are a part of the Essais as they are presented to us. (…)

The Essais, which assimilated and transmitted to us, in a simple form, all of the knowledge of Ancient Greece is, at the same time, the first and most decisive modern text.” (Dictionnaire des Œuvres)

When talking about our great masterpieces, we mention Montaigne because he is one of the first to brilliantly represent the French genius which, from Pascal to Bergson to Racine, Vauvenargues or Stendhal produced so many psychologists and moralists.

The old editions of Montaigne’s Essais de Montaigne in contemporary binding are always sought-after.

A copy preserved in its contemporary overlapping vellum.

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