20 November 2002
VERGIER -- Le songe de vergier. [Lyons]: Jacques Maillet, 20 March 1491/2.
Median 2° (274 x 210mm). Collation: a8 b-m6 n8 o-s6 t-u8 (a1r title, a1v woodcut, a2r text, part I, n8r blank, n8v woodcut, o1r part II, u5r colophon, u5v-6 blank). 127 (of 128, without final blank) leaves. 51 lines, double column. Type: 3:96B.. 2 full-page woodcuts (one block repeated before each part). Initial spaces with guide-letters. (First leaf repaired at inner margin and with small wormholes filled, light stains in final leaves, small wormholes touching some letters.) 18th-century tan calf, gilt spine, red edges (discreet repairs to joints). Provenance: notes on the edition written on a2r in an 18th-century French hand (slightly trimmed) -- Walter Sneyd (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION. An adaptation and translation into French of the Somnium viridarii, a defence of royal jurisdiction against increasing ecclesiastical powers. Because a Latin edition was not printed until 1516, it has been erroneously assumed that the work was originally written in French. In fact, the Latin text was written in 1376 and the French adaptation quickly followed in 1378. The text is now attributed to Evrart de Trémaugon. (See M. Schnerb-Lièvre, "Le songe du vergier édite d'apres le manuscrit Royal 19 C.IV de la British Library," Paris: 1982). Maillet's type 3, described by Davies as "beautifully clear and sharp", makes its first appearance in this edition. HC 16006=16004; BMC VIII, 304 (IB. 41952); Polain(B) 3565; CIBN S-316; Davies Murray French 514; Goff V-141.
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