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    Gabriel Francois Coyer, Abbe. Decouverte De L'Isle Frivole. N. P.: N.P., [1750]. Krown & Spellman retail: $1250. First Edition. 4to. A-C4, D2. 28pp. Modern blue-cloth backed marbled boards, title in gilt on red morocco label on front cover, notes in pencil on f.f.e.p., marginal repair to top edge of last leaf (no text affected), light stains, very large margins. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.

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    Gabriel Francois, abbe Coyer, was a French man of letters and worldly cleric born in 1707. He entered the Society of Jesus, studying humanities and philosophy until he left the order in 1736. He then became private tutor to the young Duke of Bouillon (Prince of Turenne at the time) in 1741. There followed public functions that saw him in attendance at some battles of the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48). His many works include a history of the Polish king Jan Sobieski, travel accounts of Holland and Italy, a study of ancient religions, belles-lettres, and a popular attack on the guild system, Chinki. He became a member of the Royal Academy of England and the Academy of Nancy. It is said that when he visited Voltaire at Ferney and announced his desire to return each year for three months, Voltaire replied that whereas Don Quixote had mistaken inns for castles, Coyer was mistaking castles for inns. He died in 1782. [Commerce, Culture, and Liberty: Readings on Capitalism before Adam Smith, ed. Henry C. Clarke]

    "First edition of this important pre-Romantic utopia inspired by Anson's voyage. This work's popularity meant that a revised edition was soon published, nearly double the length of this version. The first edition was issued without a title-page... Coyer (1707-1782) was a Jesuit professor of the humanities, and author of many works... This work's incredible popularity led to a spate of publications, most of which are modelled on the revised edition, called much less ambiguously, A Supplement to Lord Anson's Voyage Round the World.' Of course. This apparently official status is entirely apocryphal. The work is...the first of what would become a long tradition of supplements to ship's journals that rose around mid-century." [Imaginary Voyages]

    This copy is from the library of Boudewijn Buch, the Bibliotheca Didina Et Pinguina. Imaginary Voyages 49.  OCLC: 15038813 (3 locations). See also: Cioranescu 21572 (1751). Negley 234 (1751)

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    23rd Thursday
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