Paris: Chez les Libraires Associes, 1787.
Two volumes, duodecimo; contemporary French quarter calf.
The very rare first edition of this work, which purports to be the translation of an ancient text describing an expedition to "Solamir" in North Africa.
The very rare first edition of this work, which purports to be the translation of an ancient text describing an expedition to "Solamir" in North Africa.The young Greek Azémor, travelling with Tiresias in order to learn the ways of government, journeys to Solamir, known only to a few Europeans, and which can only be reached after journeying right across Egypt. Described as one of the most beautiful nations in the world, it has for centuries dwelt in the peace and repose of temperate laws allied with the naturally amiable disposition of the locals. Tiresias comments: 'Je connais un pays dans l'univers, où les vices répandus sur la surface du Globe n'ont point encore pénétré. Cette contrée heureuse est Solamir'. Enchanted, Azémor describes the felicity of the utopian society and proceeds to fall in love with Tiresias's daughter Mirza. The later books chronicle Azémor's travels throughout the world before his eventual return and marriage.Azémor was published in two volumes in Paris in 1787, the author identified only as "M. de P." However, recent research by Ray Howgego effectively confirms that the author was the French soldier, historian and military tactician François Jacques Maximilien de Chastenet (1716-82), marquis de Puységur (hence "M. de P."). This attribution is confirmed by a manuscript note inscribed in a single copy of another book by the marquis titled Considérations sur l'Influence des Moeurs dans l'État militaire des Nations ('London', i.e. Paris, 1788) and imprinted 'par l'auteur d'Azémor'. The note, inscribed on the back of the half title page, clearly attributes this book, and hence Azémor, to Chastenet.Little is known of Chastenet's life except that he followed his more famous father into the army and was the recipient of numerous military honours, becoming maréchal de France, lieutenant general, and in 1782, the year of his death, commander of the royal and military order of St Louis. He died on 2 February 1782. His books include a study of Chinese military tactics, État actuel de l'art et de la science militaire à la Chine (Paris, 1773); a tactical study titled Art de la Guerre (Paris, 1748); and a critique of the place of the church in French society, Discussion intéressante sur la prétention du clergé d'être le premier ordre d'un État, which was censured by the authorities in 1768. His only novel, a 'roman sans aventure, et écrit avec esprit, par un homme du monde', was Histoire de Madame de Bellerive, ou, Principes sur l'amour et sur l'amitié ('London', i.e. Paris, 1768).The book exists only in the first edition and has never been reprinted.
not in Barbier.
Price (AUD): $1,550.00 other currencies Ref: #3005363