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Fine Editions Ltd

Fine Editions Ltd

Les avantures de Telemaque fils D’Ulysse. Par feu Messire François de Salignac de la Motte Fénelon, Précepteur de Messeigneurs les Enfans de France, & depuis Archevêque-Duc de Cambrai, Prince du saint Empire, &c. Nouvelle édition conforme au manuscript original. Enrichie d’un grand nombre de figures en taille douce. Avec des Remarques pour l’eclaircissement de cet Ouvrage

A Londres: chez J. Tonson, a l’enseigne de Shakespear dans le Strand; & J. Watts, a son Imprimerie dans Wild-Court pres de Lincolns-Inn-Fields, MDCCXXVI [1726]. Full Calf. The Second Edition published in England, based upon the extensively corrected, enlarged and reconceived Paris edition of 1717. 12mo; [18], xxviii, [4], 468, [12]pp, with a portrait frontispiece of Fenelon, title page in red and black, folding map tracing Telemachus's travels throughout the Mediterranean, and 24 full-page copper-engraved plates, one at the head of each book (in reconceiving the work for the Paris edition, the author's grandnephew divided the story into 24 books conforming to Homer's "Iliad"). Contemporary sprinkled calf, the spine richly gilt in six compartments divided by raised bands with a red morocco lettering piece gilt in the second. End papers lightly spotted, but all else generally clean and bright; archival repairs to tears on two leaves (no loss of text); joints very skillfully (almost invisibly) repaired, with the binding now sturdy and secure. Collated and complete with the often-suppressed "Ode" and the two leaves of advertisements at the start of the book. ESTC Citation No. T139621. OCLC Number: 504521029. A scarce edition, with OCLC locating only one copy (in the British Library) and ESTC just five others. Near Fine. Item #BB0663

Fénelon, Archbishop of Cambrai and tutor to the seven-year-old Duc de Bourgogne (grandson of Louis XIV and second in line to the throne) published this didactic novel anonymously in 1699. The slender plot fills out a gap in Homer's Odyssey, recounting the educational travels of Telemachus, son of Ulysses, accompanied by his tutor, Mentor, the book's true hero. Mentor denounces war, luxury, and selfishness and proclaims the brotherhood of man. Though set in a far off place and ancient time, Télémaque (and Mentor's pronouncements) was immediately recognized as a satire on the autocratic reign of Louis XIV, whose wars and taxes on the peasantry had reduced the country to famine. Predictably, Louis banished Fénelon from Versailles, confining him to his diocese, where he remained, with few exceptions, for the rest of his life. Nonetheless, Télémaque was an immediate best seller, both in France and abroad, translated into every European language and even Latin verse. It inspired numerous imitations and supplied the plot for Mozart's opera, Idomeneo (1781). It was also a favorite of Thomas Jefferson, who reread it frequently. (adapted from Wikipedia).

Price: $635.00