“Bertaut carved himself a particular path between Ronsard and Desportes. He is easier to understand than the first, stronger than the second and has more spirit and politeness than both of them put together”
(Melle de Scudéry).
Partly first edition of the des Œuvres poétiques and the Recueil de quelques vers amoureux by Bertaut.
Precious and beautiful copy preserved in its contemporary morocco.
Bertaut. Recueil des œuvres poétiques de J. Bertaut, abbé d’Aunay, et premier Aumônier de la Royne. Seconde édition Augmentée de plus de la moitié outre la précédente Impression.
Paris, Abel L’Angelier, 1605.
Followed by Bertaut. Recueil de quelques vers amoureux. Edition dernière, Reveue & augmentee.
Paris, Philippes Patisson, 1606.
Two works bound in 1 volume 8vo [164 x 106 mm] of (8) ll. 344 pp., (6) ll., 98 ll.
Red morocco, double set of triple gilt fillets on the covers and spine, gilt fillet on leading edges, gilt edges. Contemporary binding.
“Complete collection of the Œuvres by Bertaut, who was one of Ronsard’ students” (Edouard Rahir).
Partly first edition of the Œuvres poétiques de Bertaut and of the Recueil de quelques vers amoureux.
Brunet, I, 814-815 ; Renouard, Breyer, n°77 ; Renouard, Estienne, 194 ; J. P. Barbier, IV, 1, n°31 et n°32 ; N. Ducimetière, Mignonne allons voir…, n°135 ; Rahir Catalogue, V, 1242 ; Catalogue De Backer, n°538 ; Picot, Catalogue Rothschild, I, 820 ; Balsamo, L’Angelier, n°409.
This edition of the Œuvres poétiques “is enlarged by more than half from the previous printing. It’s the most beautiful and sought-after edition” (Catalogue De Backer).
Brunet, in his Manuel (I, 815), writes the following about the previous editions of 1620 and 1623 :
“Those two editions are more complete but not as beautiful than the Paris one ; Abel Langelier, 1605, 8vo of 8 leafs and 344 pages”.
The Recueil de quelques vers amoureux is made up of 89 plays, of which 15 were previously unpublished. This edition is the only one that came out of the presses of Philippe Patisson, son of Mamert Patisson. It was published anonymously.
At 16, Jean Bertaut (1552-1611) discovers the works of the head of the Pléiade and of Desportes. His passion is born and they both encouraged the young poet. Desportes introduced Bertaut at court and remained his faithful lifelong friend.
Appointed by Henri III to be the preceptor of the count of Angoulême, Charles IX’s biological son, and later, from 1557 to 1589, secretary to the king’s cabinet, he quickly became the in-house poet, composing for each event melodious verses where hints of a natural but charming melancholy surface.
“So much effort and hard work deserved a reward and Bertaut received more than his due largely because he was always, wisely, on the side of the winner — which called for some flexibility at times. In 1594, he received the abbey d’Aunay ; in 1600, he was the queen Marie de Medici’s chaplain. Strangely enough, this courtesan could always count on the friendship and esteem of the other poets who praised his noble soul and his selflessness.”
“It is rightly so that Michel Jeanneret placed Bertaut in a chapter titled “the poets’ emancipation”. They prolong the « genre of the mundane poetry, which goes from the Pléiade to Desportes, while still working around Malherbe, but with less zeal, on the advent of an estheticism that announces the Classics”. For his part, Robert Sabatier is one of those who were sensitive to the poet’s “Lamartinian lyricism”. “His rational poetry, which cannot be mistaken for Desportes’, profoundly differs from the spontaneous, and sometimes disorganized, poetry of the previous era. His abhorrence of all excess, his refusal of the “fury” that the friends and followers of Ronsard called for with all their being, is what characterizes the chaste verses contained in this collection. The poet’s contemporaries liked them and they were adored by the next generation.” (J. P. Barbier)
“Bertaut was considered by the classical authors as a pioneer, mastering a language ahead of his time. Boileau, usually quite ferocious with the authors from the previous centuries, said of Bertaut that he « had caught the real genius of the French language”.” (N. Ducimetière).
“Bertaut carved himself a particular path between Ronsard and Desportes. He is easier to understand than the first, stronger than the second and has more spirit and politeness than both of them put together” (Melle de Scudéry).
Precious and beautiful copy preserved in its contemporary red morocco.
Provenance : Library of E. M. Bancel, with ex-libris.