The Heptameron, of Margaret, Queen of Navarre, Margaret of Navarre, Léopold Flameng illus. (Printed by Private Subscription and for private circulation only, np. nd. London, #61/500)
6.25″ X 7.5″, xxix-384pp, three-quarter bound over marbled boards, gilt title & decorations including boarder of leather, 8 etchings by Flameng
The Heptameron is a collection of 72 short stories written in French by Marguerite of Navarre (1492-1549), published posthumously in 1558. It has the form of a frame narrative and was inspired by The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio. It was originally intended to contain one hundred stories covering ten days just as The Decameron does, but at Marguerite’s death it was only completed as far as the second story of the eighth day. Many of the stories deal with love, lust, infidelity, and other romantic and sexual matters. I do not know publisher or date to this edition, although it is very similar to the 1881 G. Barrie edition (page numbers and the Flemeng plates, and the Edition De Luxe label). Either it is a later pirate of that edition or an alternate printing from that batch.