[DU FAIL, Noël (c.1520-c.1585).] Discours d'aucuns propos rustiques facecieux & de singuliere recreation. Paris: Estienne Groulleau, 1547.
16°-in-8s (113 x 77mm). Wood-engraved device on verso of last leaf. Dark-blue morocco by Trautz-Bauzonnet, covers framed in gilt with foliate roll-tool between double fillets, enclosing a diamond-patterned panel of 17 flowers ruled with small leaf and dotted tools, flat gilt spine, gilt turn-ins, gilt edges. Provenance: comte de Lignerolles (cat. 1894 no. 1883) -- Anatole de Claye (gilt armorial bookplate, cat. 1904 no. 104).
EXTREMELY RARE SECOND EDITION OF THESE CHARMING POEMS ABOUT RURAL LIFE IN THE 16TH CENTURY. THE LIGNEROLLES-CLAYE COPY.
Published under the author's anagram Leon Ladulfi Champenois, this text, known usually as Propos rustiques, narrates the conversations of four elderly peasants, Anselme, Pasquier, Huguet and Lubin, and their stories of rural life in 16th-century France. Set in two villages not far from Rennes (Vindelles and Flameaux), the shared memories of the four peasants sketch anecdotes and events around the inhabitants of the villages in a bucolic and comic way, resembling the style of Rabelais. Noël du Fail, having studied law in Paris, was a jurist and magistrate, but he himself was very familiar with rural life as he was born into a noble rural family at Château Letard near Saint-Erblon. His humorous, satirical and entertaining stories always have a serious moral, but Du Fail preferred laughter as his educative tool. He is still known today as the Rabelais of Brittany.
Cartier, Bibliographie des éditions des de Tournes I, n° 80; Œuvres facétieuses de Noël du Fail, éd. J. Assérat, Paris, Daffis, 1874 (only knew the first Lyons edition); Tchemerzine III, 99 (was unaware of the present edition, but records the second edition by Groulleau); USTC no. 84080; not in Brunet. USTC records only two copies in public libraries (Bologna and Modena), which makes this second edition even rarer than the first edition from the same year printed in Lyons at Jean de Tournes' press (5 recorded copies).