La Colombiade, ou la foi portee au nouveau monde. COLUMBUS, Madame DU BOCCAGE, Marie-Anne FIQUET.
La Colombiade, ou la foi portee au nouveau monde.
La Colombiade, ou la foi portee au nouveau monde.
La Colombiade, ou la foi portee au nouveau monde.
La Colombiade, ou la foi portee au nouveau monde.

La Colombiade, ou la foi portee au nouveau monde.

Paris: Desaint & Saillant, Durand, 1756.

Octavo, engraved frontispiece portrait by Tardieu le fils, and 10 engraved plates by Chedel, engraved titlepage vignette, headpiece to dedication leaf and tailpieces at end of each canto; a very attractive copy in contemporary French mottled calf, spine gilt, crimson morocco label.

First edition, rare: "an epic poem on the discovery of America" (Sabin). This attractive work contains many beautifully-executed plates, including scenes depicting Columbus' landing in the New World, his introduction to the American court, and a vivid shipwreck. Although the work is very much the product of Du Boccage's agile pen, she shows that she is also familiar with the voyage accounts of Anson and Frezier, among a litany of erudite notes.

First edition, rare: "an epic poem on the discovery of America" (Sabin). This attractive work contains many beautifully-executed plates, including scenes depicting Columbus' landing in the New World, his introduction to the American court, and a vivid shipwreck. Although the work is very much the product of Du Boccage's agile pen, she shows that she is also familiar with the voyage accounts of Anson and Frezier, among a litany of erudite notes.
Madame du Boccage (Marie-Anne Le Page) ran a distinguished salon in Paris, frequented by Voltaire, Fontenelle, and other luminaries. Together with her husband, Pierre-Joseph Fiquet du Boccage, she had a passionate interest in literature, and published several interesting works, including imitations of Milton and Pope. Le Colombiade is her greatest contribution, a poised revisiting of the moment of contact between Columbus and the indigenous Americans.
The work picks up Colombus as he meets a thoughtful leader of an Indian nation, who asks who he is and why he is there. "Columbus replies in astonishing detail, telling his auditor of 'the three continents which form the universe', of the Supreme Being, of European manners and inventions, of his project, of Queen Isabella, of scurvy, of strange 'phenomena' of the sea, and of unrest among the sailors. 'Merveilleux Etranger,' exclaims the chief, no doubt overwhelmed by the barrage of heroic couplets. After many adventures a prayerful Columbus is visited by a tutelary angel who reveals the vast consequences of his enterprise." (Terence Martin, 'American Literature Discovers Columbus', in Christopher K. Lohmann, Discovering Difference, Indiana, 1993, p. 25).
Throughout, there is an emphasis on the national and European consequences of New World discovery, and the poem is, in a sense, a companion piece to her earlier play Les Amazones (1749), in that much of the American authority is vested in the figure of a powerful woman.
A second edition was published in 1758, but included only 8 plates.

Cohen-De Ricci, 328; JCB, 1112; Sabin, 21007.

Price (AUD): $2,650.00  other currencies     Ref: #3806722