Hoe Copy, Printed on Vellum
Miracle de Nostre Dame de la Marquise de la Gaudine.
[Paris: Printed by Crapelet for Silvestre, 1841].
First printed edition, one of 4 copies on vellum. Woodcut vignette on title, full page woodcut at end. ,  pp. Gothic type. 12mo (6 x 4-1/2 inches; 15 x 11.5 cm.). Hoe Copy, Printed on Vellum. Full red morocco with central strapwork medallion by Capé. Some rubbing to joints, but fine Brunet III, 1743 and II, 138. Provenance: Robert Hoe (morocco bookplate; Catalogue of Books Printed in Foreign Languages ... in the Hoe Library, Vol III, p. 236). Item #310023
A fine example of vellum printing by Crapelet, being volume 11 in the series, published by Silvestre, titled "Collection de poésies, romans, chroniques etc. publiée d'après d'anciens manuscrits et d'après des éditions des XVe et XVIe siècles." The first printed edition of an anonymous 14th century poem that employs a favorite medieval trope, that of the falsely accused wife. "The uncle of the marquise seeks in vain to seduce her during her husband's absence. Desiring revenge for his repulse, he puts a dwarf in her bed while she sleeps, pretends to find him there, murders him, and accuses the marquise of adultery. The husband on his return condemns her to be burned alive. Fortunately a knight whom she has formerly befriended arrives at this juncture, proclaims her innocence, and challenges whosoever may deny it. The uncle accepts the challenge, is conquered, and admits the falsity of the accusation. The marquis and marquise are reunited, while the knight is rewarded with half the former's lands. The rôle of Nostre Dame is subordinate as she descends from heaven only to comfort the marquise and assure the knight of her innocence" (Lancaster, "The French Tragi-Comedy" p 9). The woodcut vignette on the title, showing the marquise being carted off to her punishment, was based on the miniature in the original manuscript in the Bibliothèque Royale. The final full page woodcut shows an armored knight on horseback. Brunet notes that the editions in this series were especially cherished by bibliophiles "par sa belle exécution typographique"
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