Item #3006446 Mahmoud le Gasnevide, histoire orientale. Fragment traduit de l'Arabe, avec des Notes. Jean François MELON.
Mahmoud le Gasnevide, histoire orientale. Fragment traduit de l'Arabe, avec des Notes.

Mahmoud le Gasnevide, histoire orientale…
Mahmoud le Gasnevide, histoire orientale. Fragment traduit de l'Arabe, avec des Notes.

Rotterdam: Jean Hofhoudt, 1729.

Octavo, woodcut vignettes; in contemporary sprinkled calf.

After the Sun King: a regency satire set in the Caliphate

First edition of one of the more popular utopian satires of the era, written by a friend of both the economist John Law (of South Sea Bubble fame) and the jurist Montesquieu.

First edition of one of the more popular utopian satires of the era, written by a friend of both the economist John Law (of South Sea Bubble fame) and the jurist Montesquieu.

Mahmoud purports to tell the tale of the Caliphate (translated, of course, from a newly-discovered Arabic original) but was quickly recognized as 'une satire de la régence' of Louis XV (Nouvelle Biographie Générale). Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the book is that the author was a warm partisan of luxury as the true engine of civilisation (see his Essai Politique sur la Commerce), meaning that he had no interest in making bland attacks on the supposed decadence of the East.

The novel was one of the first books by the economist Jean François Melon (1675-1738), an influential French intellectual, who, amongst other things, helped found a literary society under the protection of the Duc de la Force. He became an important member of the Court, regularly consulted for advice on commerce and finance.

This is an attractive copy, with the armorial bookplate of John West, first Earl de la Warr, eighteenth century English politician and soldier.

Barbier, III, p. 14.

Condition Report: An attractive copy, professionally rebacked.

Price (AUD): $785.00

US$509.49   Other currencies

Ref: #3006446

Condition Report