DU BELLAY, Martin (1495-1559). Les Memoires de Mess. Martin du Bellay ... contenans le discours de plusieurs choses advenuës au Royaume de France, depuis l'an MDXIII jusques au trespas du Roy François premier. Paris: P. L'Huillier, 1572.
LARGE-PAPER COPY, 2° (382 x 237mm). Collation: á- áá6 éé4 a-y6 z4 A6-Nn6, o6. Wood-engraved device on title, head- and tailpieces and initials, ruled in red throughout. (Large ink stain on Aa2v, 100mm marginal repaired tear to H5 just into text affecting a couple of letters, minor marginal burnhole at gutter to Aa1, tiny marginal worming from gathering Mm to end.) Near contemporary olive morocco, covers with wide gilt border of fleur-de-lis and intertwined double-Cs within oval wreaths between double fillets, enclosing a panel embellished with a repeated pattern of fleur-de-lis and intertwined double-Cs surrounding wreathed central coat-of-arms, flat spine similarly decorated in gilt, gilt edges (corners and joints expertly restored, spine slightly and uniformly darkened). Provenance: Charles de Bourbon-Condé, premier comte de Soissons (1586-1612; binding) -- over-inked ownership inscription on title dated 1731 -- Sir George Holford (1860-1926; sold Sotheby's 5 December 1927, lot 281, to:) -- Charles van der Elst (gilt booklabel) -- Raphaël Esmerian (booklabel; sold Tajan, 6 June 1972, lot 57).
SECOND EDITION. AN OUTSTANDING COPY FROM THE LIBRARY OF CHARLES DE BOURBON-CONDE, PREMIER COMTE DE SOISSONS, SON OF LOUIS 1ER BOURBON DE CONDE AND HIS SECOND WIFE, FRANÇOISE D'ORLEANS-LONGUEVILLE. THE HOLFORD-VAN DER ELST-ESMERIAN COPY.
Martin du Bellay, author of this historiographical work and brother of Guillaume as well as of Cardinal Jean du Bellay, wrote his memoirs as the official historical record of the reign of François I. It covers the years 1513 to 1547 in 10 books with the final three containing extracts from the memoirs of his brother, the 5th Ogdoade, by Mess. Guillaume du Bellay, seigneur de Langey (1491-1543). Both brothers joined their talents in warfare to those of writing and have transmitted what remains a highly regarded record of the battles and sieges they themselves witnessed on the battlefield. Like his brother, Martin du Bellay was highly respected as a versatile diplomat, as lieutenant general of Normandy and as a historian of France. His memoirs continued to be printed in revised and modified editions until 1753.
Adams D-1000 (variant collation, calling for éé4 to be blank, which in this copy is the last leaf of Prologue).