5 April 2016
LE COMTE, Louis (1655-1728). Nouveaux memoires sur l'état présent de la Chine. Par le P. Louis le Comte de la Compagnie de Jesus, Mathémetician du Roy. Paris: Jean Anisson, 1696.
2 volumes, 12° (157 x 97 mm). 20 engraved plates (2 folding), and one folding table. Contemporary speckled calf, spines gilt (some repairs to joints and extremities). Provenance: Monastere de la visitation Ste. Marie de Meaux (contemporary inscription on front pastedowns); Jean Baptiste Plé (later ownership inscription on rear flyleaf of first volume: “Ce présent livres apartien a moy Jean Baptiste Plé je prie ceux ou celle qui le trouverron deme le rapporté il aurron recompanse dunne bouttel de vin–le second de la reppublique francoisse 1793”).
FIRST EDITION of Le Comte’s account from when he served as a missionary in China from 1687 to 1692. The work contains letters of members of French court circles dealing with his travels in China, and observations on Chinese civilization. The second volume consists largely of discussions on Chinese popular religion and missionary activities. Although intended to bolster the Jesuit position in the Rites Controversy, it quickly became a focus of dispute, and Refutations were written by the Jesuits' opponents and the book was eventually censored. Despite the opposition it was translated into several other languages and frequently reprinted..
Cioranescu XVII, 41454; Cordier Sinica I, 39; De Backer & Sommervogel II, 1356; Quérard V, p. 58, Streit V: 2714. This edition not in Lust.
LE COMTE. Nouveaux memoires sur l'etat present de la Chine. Par le P. Louis le Comte… Troisieme edition reveue & corrigee sur la derniere de Paris. Amsterdam: Henri Desbordes & Antoine Schelte. 1698.
2 volumes in one, 12°(157 x 97 mm). 22 engraved plates. Contemporary speckled calf, spine gilt (some wear).
Third edition. Cordier Sinica I, 39; De Backer & Sommervogel II, 1356; Lust 54; Quérard V, p. 58n; Streit V: 2758.
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