19 November 2003
MONTALTO, Filoteo Eliao de (1567-1616). Lettre d'Espagne presenté à la Royne Regente. Paris: Jean Brunet, 1614.
12° (152 x 93mm). 6 leaves. Arms of Henry IV of Navarre, King of France and Maria de Medicis on title. Modern calf-backed boards.
FIRST SEPARATE EDITION, first edition in French, Brunet issue. The esteemed Portuguese Jewish physician Montalto wrote the present letter to serve as a dedication of his important medical work, Archipatologia, to his patron Marie de Medicis, published the same year. It is possible that the separate publication was intended to highlight Montalto's unique position at the French court as its only member openly professing Judaism. Marie de Medicis had obtained special dispensation from the Pope in order to retain Montalto, and he and his family moved in 1612 to Paris, where he became the Queen's counselor and physician. The letter emphasises Montalto's importance as the one responsible for the Queen's health, of concern not only to France, but to all of Europe. Palau 177287 (also cites an issue from the printer P. Chevalier, Palau 177286); cf. Friedenwald, The Jews and Medicine, II, 468-496.
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