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MAIMBOURG, Louis (1610--1686)
[Histoire de la Ligue. English. 1684]
The history of the League. Written in French by Monsieur Maimbourg. Translated into English according to His Majesty's command. By Mr. Dryden.
London: printed by M. Flesher, for Jacob Tonson, 1684.
[60], 524, 731--966, 49, [43] p., engr. frontis.; 18.4 cm. (8º)

Maimbourg was a Jesuit ecclesiastical historian. The Histoire de la Ligue was first published in 1683 and this is its first English translation at an epoch when the flood of Huguenots taking refuge in anticipation of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685) was already strong. Dryden undertook this translation at the request of Charles II, who is described by Dryden in the somewhat fawning dedication as 'a Lawfull Prince, a Father of his Countrey, and a Defender of the Faith, who stands expos'd by his too much Mercy to the unwearied and endless Conspiracies of Paricides'. The text is continuous despite the lacuna in the pagination and signatures (from p. 524 to 731 and sig. MM2 to 3A1) which is said to have been due to the book having been printed by two different printers (see Pforzheimer). It includes Dryden's defense of the Divine Right of kings in the 49-page postscript. Engraved frontispiece by Michael Burghers of Charles II receiving his crown from heaven. ESTC r25491; Wing M292; H. Macdonald, John Dryden: a bibliography of early editions and of Drydeniana (Oxford 1939), 132; Pforzheimer, 328.

Copy Notes Booksellers' codes in ink and pencil on the front free-endpaper; a further code or cypher in ink at the foot of the title-page.

Binding C18th sprinkled calf, gilt-ruled borders, gilt-tooled spine compartments with thistle ornaments.

Reference Number 94


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