Nouvelles de Jean Boccace, Giovanni Boccaccio, trans. Mirabeau, illus. Marillier, engraved by Ponce [according to the Museum of Fine Arts – Boston, “Illustrated by Clément Pierre Marillier, Engraved by Wilbrode-Magloire-Nicolas Courbe, Engraved by Remi Henri Joseph Delvaux, Engraved by Nicholas Ponce, Etched by Devilliers, Author Giovanni Boccaccio, Publisher L. Duprat, Letellier et Cie, Printer A. Egron”] (Chez L. Duprat, Paris, 1802)
8″ X 5.25″, 4 vol. xx 304pp, 273pp, 243pp, 293pp, leather bound with gilt decorations on spine and around edges of boards, marbled end papers, armorial bookplate of the Earl of Normanton on all vols. gilt edges (mostly soiled). Owner’s signature on front pages “A. Baillu 1819” Ribbons intact. Numerous beautifuly and detailed plates throughout. Good condition for age.
Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, Comte de Mirabeau (1749-1791) was a French writer, popular orator and statesman (who communicated with Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin). He is remembered for his books Erotica biblion, Ma conversion, and his love letters to Sophie which written during his imprisonment at the donjon de Vincennes between 1777-1780 (while another prisoner, the Marquis de Sade was also incarcerated there. Yes, they met… No, they didn’t like each other.)
This book was also written in the Vincennes prison. According to Mirabeau’s biography this was a “collection presented as a translation of Boccaccio, but which, as the author himself confesses in his introduction, is nothing more than simple sketches of some of the tales in the Decameron…. Mirabeau imitated some of the licentious tales which alone are known to the general reader, but took no notice of the other articles which abound in the Decameron, because they neither suited his views nor the public taste.” A beautiful and rare book with exquisite engravings. This book is in the collection at the MFA-Boston and other museums.