MERCURE. Le Mercure François, ou la Suitte de l’Histoire de la Paix. Commençand l’an M.DC.V. pour suite du Septenaire du D. Cayer, & finissant au Sacre du Tres-Chrestien Roy de France & de Navarre Loys XIII. Paris: Jean Richer (vol.I), Estienne Richer (vols.II-VII, XIII-XX), Jean & Estienne Rocher (vols.VIII-XII), Pierre Billaine (vol.XXI), Olivier de Varennes (vols.XXII-XXIV), Jean Henault (vol.XXV), 1611-1648. – CAYET, Pierre Victor (1525-1610). Chronologie Novenaire, Contenant l’Histoire de la Guerre, sous le Regne du Tres Chrestien Roy de France & de Navarre, Henry IIII. Paris: Jean Richer: 1608. – CAYET, Pierre Victor. Chronologie Septenaire de l’Histoire de la Paix Entre les Roys de France et d’Espagne. Paris: Jean Richer, 1606 [engraved title dated 1607].
Together 29 volumes, 8° (165 x 106 mm). Engraved title-pages in 8 volumes, engraved plates (most folding) in 10 volumes. (A few volumes with marginal worming affecting a few leaves, a few headlines trimmed close or just shaved, a few leaves with small holes or tears affecting letters.) Uniformly bound in18th-century tan calf, spines in 6 compartments with 5 raised bands, 2 brown morocco lettering-pieces, the rest gilt, edges red (some wear to a few joints, a few stains, some light scuffing or wear). Provenance: Joannis De Bavo (early ownership signature dated 1697 on title-page vol.II of Chronologie Novenaire); “Nihit metuo, nis, turpe fama” (inscription title-page vol.III of Chronologie Novenaire); Zargues Paine? (early ownership signature title-page vol.II of Chronologie Novenaire); [De]Luyneau (early ownership signature on title-page vol.II of Le Mercure); 3 volumes with 18th-Century bookseller’s or collector’s notes on flyleaves relating to the work; Bibliotheque de Laussat (bookplates).
CONSIDERED THE FIRST PERIODICAL OF FRANCE, AND CONTAINING ONE OF THE EARLIEST REFERENCES TO CHAMPLAIN'S VOYAGES.
FIRST EDITION of Le Mercure and Chronologie Novenaire, reissue of the second edition of Chronologie Septenaire. The Mercure was first edited by Jean and Estienne Richer, and later by Theophraste Renaudot. “This work is an annual register of occurrances, and gives the first published account of the voyages of Champlain, and of the establishment of the Jesuits in Canada [and] Louisiana” (Sabin). The Mercure is a continuation of the Chronologie, which contains detailed accounts of voyages to the East and West Indies, and Canada. It also includes a detailed account of Du Pont’s 1603 voyage to Canada by Champlain.
"Le Mercure françois disseminated news of policital events involving France, its victories and European politics. Book Four of the first volume...includes one of the earliest references to Champlain's arrival at the site of 'Kebec' on July 3rd, 1608. The name which he gave to the site had been used by the native Indians long before. It is derived from the Algonquin word, meaning 'a narrowing', and is descriptive of the form which the St. Lawrence River begins to take there" (Champlain Revisited: Celebrating the Foundation of Quebec 1608, McGill University, 2009). RARE: According to American Book Prices Current, the only complete set to appear at auction in the last 35 years, and the most complete copy since the Evelyn sale, Christie’s London, 15 March 1978, lot 1013. Alden & Landis 606/21, 608/29; Brunet I: 1891; Lande 113, 629; Sabin 11627, 47931.