BANDELLO, Matteo (1480-1561). Canti XI de le lodi de la S. Lucretia Gonzaga di Gazuolo, e del veo amore. -Le III. Parche cantate ne'la nativita del S. Giano primogenito del S. Cesare Fregoso. Agen: Antoine Reboul, 1545.
Small 4° (172 x 108mm). (Corner of first two leaves expertly restored with a few words replaced, marginal wormhole discreetly repaired, light spotting.) 18th-century red morocco, gilt fillets on sides, gilt spine with 2 leather labels, marbled endpapers, gilt edges. Provenance: early inscription erased from title; Bernard Sancholle-Henraux (early 20th-century bookplate).
VERY RARE FIRST AND ONLY EDITION of Bandello's poems in praise of his pupil Lucretia Gonzaga, daughter of the author's patron and friend, Pirro Gonzaga. The volume also includes three songs celebrating the birth of Giano Fregoso, son of Bandello's friend Cesare Fregoso. They are the first of Bandello's original writing to be published, preceded only by his translation of part of Boccaccio's Decameron. Famous particularly for his Novelle on which several Shakespeare plays (including Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night) are believed to have been based, Bandello was a courtier, envoy and secretary, chiefly at Milan and Mantua; in 1550 he became Bishop of Agen. This volume is also THE FIRST BOOK PRINTED AT AGEN. The printer, Antoine Reboul, appends a note to the reader apologising for the errors, which are due to the difficulties with the Italian language met by the compositors. Brunet I:636; Graesse I, 285 ("excessivement rare").