4 June 2008
GOLDONI, Carlo (1707-1793). Le Bourru bienfaisant, comédie ... dediée à Madame Marie Adélaïde de France. Paris: [la veuve Simon et fils pour] la veuve Duchesne, 1771.
8° (206 x 129mm). Woodcut title vignette with arms of the dedicatee and three headpieces by Beugnet. Preface printed in civilité type. (Quire E browned, a little spotting.) Contemporary French red morocco gilt, sides with centrally-placed arms of Marie Adélaïde [Olivier 2514, fer 9] enclosed by triple fillets with a fleur-de-lis at inner corners, spine with green morocco lettering-piece and fleur-de-lis in successive compartments, gilt turn-ins, gold embossed floral endpapers, green silk marker, gilt edges (a few dark spots on covers, corners a little rubbed).
MARIE ADéLAïDE, THE DEDICATEE'S COPY, OF THE FIRST EDITION, beautifully bound for her. The Italian translation, by Goldoni himself, was first published in Paris in 1789, again under the imprint of la Veuve Duchesne. Princess Marie Adélaïde (1732-1800) was the fourth daughter and sixth child of Louis XV and Maria Leszczynska. Accumulating a library of more than 10,000 volumes, she became the most influential of three unmarried sisters who used the same arms but distinguished their books from one another by colour. She was presumably present when Goldoni's play was first performed before the court on Tuesday 5 November 1771. Quérard III, 400.
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