Le Roi Voyageur, ou Examen des Abus de l'Administration de la Lydie. Jean-André PERREAU.

Le Roi Voyageur, ou Examen des Abus de l'Administration de la Lydie.

Londres: T.P. Capel, 1784.

Octavo, completely uncut, original wrappers.

First edition: the fictional discovery and translation of an ancient travel account used to mask a political satire. The London imprint is probably a disguise since the binding shows the use of French printed waste as strengthening. Published only five years before the revolution, the subterfuge is understandable.

First edition: the fictional discovery and translation of an ancient travel account used to mask a political satire. The London imprint is probably a disguise since the binding shows the use of French printed waste as strengthening. Published only five years before the revolution, the subterfuge is understandable.

In one of the most disingenuous prefaces in the imaginary voyage tradition, the author proffers a wonderfully diverse raft of excuses as to the integrity of the edition, which apparently only exists as an imprecise manuscript in 'mauvais latin' - a problem which the eponymous editor gleefully compounds with his own revisions. The work itself turns out to be the history of Melés, King of Lydie, and chronicles his extensive travels through his own kingdom, which proved the happy notion that everything the king has learnt in the schools and salons is quite useless, and that it is only through travel and experience that the true nature of his realm will become apparent. Lydie is clearly France, and the catalogue of abuses that the king discovers have direct relevance to pre-revolutionary France: the impositions on trade, the systems of privilege and their rank abuse, and the censorship of dissent.

Barbier, IV, p. 376.

Price (AUD): $1,685.00  other currencies Ref: #3006464

Condition Report