11 - 13 July 2000
HERBERAY, Nicolas de (d. c.1552). Le premier livre de la cronique du tresvaillant & redouté Dom Flores de Grece, surnommé le Chevalier des Cignes. Paris: Estienne Groulleau for Jean Longis and Vincent Sertenas, 1552.
2° (313 x 195mm). Woodcut device on title, 70 woodcuts in the text from 38 blocks, within a variety or ornamental border strips. (Without final blank, small hole in O5 & 6 with very slight damage to text.) Red morocco ornately gilt, edges speckled and gilt, signed by Rivière. Provenance: William Robinson Ltd. (bookseller, catalogue description tipped to front flyleaf).
FIRST EDITION, Groulleau issue, of the first book of the Chronicle of Flores de Grèce, an original romance by Herberay and not a translation as might be imagined from the title. A second volume was intended but never appeared, owing to the author's death. Herberay, considered by many of his contemporaries to speak and write the finest French, also translated the first eight books of Amadis of Gaul, dedicated to François Ier. This edition was divided among the printer and two publishers: Groulleau, Sertenas and Longis. The majority of the woodblocks (29, repeated to 61 illustrations) were designed for the 1540 edition of Herberay's translation of Amadis of Gaul; they are joined by 9 larger Amadis cuts. Brunet III, 107; Davies, Murray French, 228; Mortimer, Harvard French 272.
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