Grigri, Histoire véritable. Traduite du Japonnais en Portugais par Didaque Hadeczuca, compagnon d'un Missionnaire à Yendo; & du Portugais en François par l'Abbé de *** Aumônier d'un Vaisseau Hollandois. Louis de CAHUSAC.
Grigri, Histoire véritable. Traduite du Japonnais en Portugais par Didaque Hadeczuca, compagnon d'un Missionnaire à Yendo; & du Portugais en François par l'Abbé de *** Aumônier d'un Vaisseau Hollandois.

Grigri, Histoire véritable…
Grigri, Histoire véritable. Traduite du Japonnais en Portugais par Didaque Hadeczuca, compagnon d'un Missionnaire à Yendo; & du Portugais en François par l'Abbé de *** Aumônier d'un Vaisseau Hollandois.

Nangazaki [Paris]: "de l'imprimerie Klnporzenkru," in the year 59749, [i.e. 1749].

Two volumes in one, duodecimo, first title lightly stained and with an early ms attribution to 'Cahusac'; in old dark blue paper boards, red leather label.

An adventurer in Japan infuriates the government of France

Rare: a minor classic, this is the wonderfully-contrived "Nagasaki" edition (actually Paris, of course) of this popular and inventive fiction, a work which enraged the authorities in France, presumably because this "true history" of the adventures of Grigri and the Portuguese missionaries to Japan was patently a satire on the shortcomings of contemporary France.

Rare: a minor classic, this is the wonderfully-contrived "Nagasaki" edition (actually Paris, of course) of this popular and inventive fiction, a work which enraged the authorities in France, presumably because this "true history" of the adventures of Grigri and the Portuguese missionaries to Japan was patently a satire on the shortcomings of contemporary France.

Louis de Cahusac (1706-1759) was a successful playwright, famous as the long-suffering librettist for Rameau, specialising on highly exotic themes (Zoroastre; La naissance d'Osiris, and so on). De Cahusac was very in demand at mid-century, contributing articles to the Encyclopédie and being elected to the Academy of science and literature in Berlin, which presumably explains why this witty utopia largely set on the charming island of 'Fortunée' was energetically suppressed.

Ray Howgego has recently traced the publishing history of this book. He states that the work was written in 1744, published the following year in Paris and immediately burnt by the state police. Printing shifted to "Amsterdam" (as usual) for a second 1745 edition, meaning that this was actually the third of 1749 (Ray Howgego, private correspondence). The most charming aspect of this chequered history is that the publisher here mocks the censors by announcing prominently on the title-page that this will be the 'final edition, less correct than previous versions.'

Barbier, II, p. 575.

Condition Report: Very good copy.

Price (AUD): $1,400.00

US$1,061.50   Other currencies

Ref: #3006527

Condition Report