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    Madame de Pompadour's Copy

    [Madame de Pompadour, association]. François Hedelin, Abbé d'Aubignac. Lettre D'Artiste a Cleonte, Contenant l'Apologie de l'Histoire de Temps; ou la Defense du Toyaume de Coqueterie. Paris: Denys Langlois, 1659. Twelvemo. A-P6, Q5. [2], 120, [6], 1-63, [1]. Engraved initial and head pieces. Full old calf, gilt ruling, gilt stamp crest of Madame de Pompadour on front and rear boards, front hinge split, rear hinge creased. Gilt stamp decorated spine with title in gilt lettering. All edges red. Some wear to binding to joints and spine, with an early repair to front joint, some minor soiling to binding. Browning and foxing with an occasional minor dampstain. Bookplate of de la Motte Hugo de Flers on front free endpaper. A good copy of this book of social criticism with an excellent association. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
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    Hedelin (1604-76), Grammarian, poet, preacher, archeologist, philologist. "After completing his classical and theological studies, he was appointed by Cardinal Richelieu instructor to the latter's nephew, the young Duc de Fronsac, to whose gratitude he owed a pension of 4,000 livres. This appointment, as well as his own inclination, led him to devote his time to literary studies especially to the classics." [Catholic Ency.]

    "In it the French author uses an imaginary island as an allegorical setting in order to castigate the secular materialism and profligacy of the younger generation as embodied by its equally young and equally impetuous monarch. Despite the setting the author paints in very realistic terms a contemporary society which is classified in terms of superficial social types.whose sole goal is the pursuit of pleasure in its diverse manifestations. Particularly scathing is the criticism he directs at the overemphasis placed not only on appearance, for example on the elaborately decorated hats, long boots and canions of the dandified cavaliers and on the obsession of women with cosmetics and other beauty aids, but also on the elaborate courting rituals and social etiquette of an idle and self-indulgent society whose promiscuous attitudes lead to pre- and extramarital sex, with profound implications for the social and even cosmic order. These attitudes are reflected and reinforced in popular literature, in a school system where discipline is lacking, in church services which have become little more than social events, as well as in a legal and political system dominated by self-interest. The solution, the conservative author suggests, is an inner spiritual withdrawal from a morally decadent society and a return to the mainstream of Christian religion. " [John Alexander, 'Utopia Inverted...'in Neophilologus Vol. 84, #1, January 2000]

    Cioranescu 35143. Negley, Utopian, 1240. Gay/Lemonnyer II, 799.

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