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    Amelot de la Houssaye, Abraham Nicolas. Histoire Du Government De Venice [bound with] Supplement A l'Histoire Du Gouvernment De Venice. Paris: Frederic Leonard, 1676-1677. 8vo. 2 vols. in 1. a,e, A-2E8,2F4 [2F4 blank, present]; A-N8,a4. [30], 424, [38]; 15, 200, 8,[8]p. 18th c. full speckled calf, gilt roll on covers, spine gilt in compartments, red morocco titling-piece, front hinge cracked, some leather stripped from rear cover; foxing. Printer's marks on t.p., engraved arms on dedication leaf, First Editions. From the Krown & Spellman Collection. Krown & Spellman retail: $500.00

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    Abraham Nicolas Amelot de la Houssaye (1634-1706), French historian and publicist, was born at Orleans in February 1634, and died at Paris on the 8th of December 1706. Little is known of his personal history beyond the fact that he was secretary to an embassy from the French court to the republic of Venice. In his Histoire du Gouvernement de Venise he undertook to explain, and above all to criticize, the administration of that republic, and to expose the causes of its decadence. The work was printed by the king's printer and dedicated to Louvois, which points to the probability that the government did not disapprove of it. It appeared in March 1676, and provoked a heated protest from the Venetian ambassador, Giustiniani. The author was sent to the Bastille, where he remained, however, only six weeks {Archives de la Bastille, vol. viii. pp. 93 and 94). A second edition with a supplement, published immediately after, drew forth fresh protestations, and the edition was suppressed. This persecution gave the book an extraordinary vogue, and it passed through twenty-two editions in three years, besides being translated into several languages; there is an English translation by Lord Falconbridge, son-in-law of Oliver Cromwell. Amelot next published in 1683 a translation of Fra Paolo Sarpi's History of the Council of Trent. This work, and especially certain notes added by the translator, gave great offence to the advocates of unlimited papal authority, and three separate memorials were presented asking for its repression. "In 1676 Amelot de la Houssaie published his Histoire... following years of experience as secretary to the French ambassador. A basic source  for the fashionable view that Venice was decadent, it is quoted and re-quoted throughout the nineteenth century. That Casanova saw fit to write a treatise against de la Houssaie is some evidence of the impact of the Histoire in the eighteenth century."

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2014
    13th Thursday
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