Relation du Voyage de l'Isle d'Eutopie. François LEFEBVRE, E R. V. F. L.
Relation du Voyage de l'Isle d'Eutopie.
Relation du Voyage de l'Isle d'Eutopie.

Relation du Voyage de l'Isle d'Eutopie.

Delft: Henry van Rhin, 1711.

Duodecimo, speckled calf.

A mysterious land of reason in the Atlantic Ocean

First and apparently only edition of this rare South American utopia, set off the coast of the Guianas.

First and apparently only edition of this rare South American utopia, set off the coast of the Guianas.

Before Defoe and Swift, this classic utopia is set on a fertile island off South America, the capital Macarie being 'gradually reformed by men's reasoning their way to discover the best procedures' (Gibson). Owing as much to Plato's Republic as the work of Sir Thomas More, the community takes up the tradition of rational government and communal education, albeit with the surprisingly modern twist of having the entire society descended from a single French merchant and his wife Marie (rather as if the Swiss Family Robinson had met the Bounty descendants on Pitcairn Island). More religiously-minded, the author makes the comparison with Abraham and the tribes of Israel.

Published anonymously and with a preface only signed E.R.V.F.L., the work is known to have been written by François Lefebvre, Canon d'Abbeville (1648-1721), which helps explain the almost messianic tone adopted throughout. It appears to have been Lefebvre's only book.

Gibson, 'St. Thomas More… with a Bibliography of Utopiana', 673; Negley, 324; not in Barbier; not in Gove.

Condition Report: Worn at extremities, spine chipped with some loss at head, joints starting; internally quite good.

Price (AUD): $3,000.00

US$2,174.99   Other currencies

Ref: #3005421

Condition Report