Délices de l'esprit et autres ouvrages de piété
In-12, full morocco stamped in the center of the boards with the figure of Françoise-Athénaïs de Rochechouart de Mortemart, surmounted by a ducal crown, surrounded by a golden fillet. Ornate edges, interior fillet, gilt edges.
Delights of the mind: 209 pp. - Le chemin de la paix: 55 pp. - Collection of Christian poems: 12 pp. - Abraham or the perfect life: 34 pp. - The seven Christian virtues: 30 pp.
Rare copy having belonged to Madame de Montespan. "The books of Madame de Montespan are characterized by their armorial binding of the period, most often in red morocco. [...] Provenance reputed to be very rare, as the Quentin-Bauchart sale catalogs remind us. Hardly more than seventy-nine works, that is to say 125 volumes, were inventoried in Oiron in 1707, of which only about twenty were bound in red calf with the arms. [...] All the books of the marquise were not preserved in Oiron in 1707: a good part of those passed in sale these last years are not inventoried there."
Now, it so happens that this one, having received the characteristic binding of the library of Madame de Montespan, is not only quoted in the inventory mentioned above, but that we know precisely where it was kept: "There remains almost nothing of the furniture of Madame de Montespan inventoried in Oiron between July 22 and 28, 1707 at the request of the Marquis d'Antin, legitimate son of the Marchioness, by her upholsterer. In this inventory [dated] July 1707, one reads [however] that in "a chest was found a book entitled Le martyrologe des chevaliers de Malte, another book entitled Les Délices de l'esprit [here presented], another book entitled Les Lettres chrestiennes et spirituelles"."
Grégory Vouhé adds in his text dedicated to the castle of Oiron that "it is often impossible to determine the edition that the marquise possessed among those that were available, especially since the format is never specified, for example the Délices de l'esprit by Desmarets de Saint-Sorlin.
At least for these Délices, it is now possible to detail it completely since it is this copy that we offer for sale!
As for the text, "a "converted" writer like Desmarets de Saint-Sorlin, writes Cousinié, takes up in his Delices de l'Esprit all this erotic vocabulary of "union", "tressaillemens", "goust divin", "sweet tears", "spiritual intoxication", "dilatation of the heart", "mortal wound", "ecstasy or rapture", "excess of love", "liquefaction", which partly made his success.
Bookplate of Walter Wilson Greg (1875-1959), British scholar and bibliographer who was one of the great Shakespeare specialists.
Grégory Vouhé, Château d'Oiron. La bibliothèque de madame de Montespan, May 30, 2018 https://actualite.nouvelle-aquitaine.science/chateau-doiron-la-bibliotheque-de-madame-de-montespan/
F. Cousinié, Images and Contemplation in the Mystical Discourse of the French Seventeenth Century https://www.cairn.info/revue-dix-septieme-siecle-2006-1-page-23.htm#no77