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L'Espine, Jean de. Excellens discours de I. de l'Espine angevin. Touchant le repos & contentement de l'esprit. La Rochelle: Hierosme Haultain, 1594. 12mo (13.7 cm, 5.38"). 758 pp., [5 (blank)] ff. $875.00
Early, uncommon edition of these seven essays on combating sin in order to bring peace and contentment to the soul, written by an Augustinian monk and correspondent of Calvin's, and edited and introduced by French humanist Simon Goulart. Here L'Espine (also known as Delespine, de Spina, and Spinaeus) expounds on => avarice, ambition, anger, envy, lechery, curiosity, and fear.
First published in 1587, this popular work found an audience among both Protestants and Catholics, and went through a number of editions in not only the original French, but also several other European languages as well as Latin. The present early French printing is handsomely accomplished, with nice head- and tailpieces and decorative capitals. WorldCat finds => no U.S. institutional holdings of this edition.
Binding: Later dark blue Jansenist-style morocco: spine with raised bands and gilt-stamped title and date, board edges with double gilt rules, and turn-ins with particularly elegant gilt dentelles. All edges gilt. Signed binding done by Hans Asper, with Asper's minute rubber-stamp on the front free endpaper.
Provenance: Front pastedown with bookplate of Swiss theologian, historian, and professor Gaspard Ernest Stroehlin (1844–1907), a notable scholar of Protestantism. Most recently in the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel ("AHA") at rear.
Index Aurel. 164.928; Pettegree, French Vernacular Books, 34461. This ed. not in Adams, not in Brunet. Binding as above, spine showing very slight sunning, lower back outer corner bumped. Bookplate as above, with small paper adhesion over one corner. Pages gently age-toned with scattered small, faint spots, otherwise clean. => A striking copy, with notably apropos provenance. (38345) Please RESHELVE This.
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