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BAILLET, Adrien.

Auteurs deguisez sous des noms étrangers;

empruntez, supposez, feints à plaisir, chiffrez, renversez, retournez, ou changez d'une langue en une autre.

Paris: Antoine Dezallier, 1690 Stock Code: 128678
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First edition of the first work in French devoted to pseudonyms. "Unlike Latin works on pseudonyms of the period, Baillet does not simply unmask authors who have written under assumed names; instead he offers a history of the practices, civil and ecclesiastical, of naming and re-naming, as well as a reflection on and a limited justification for the motives and practices of self-naming and self-renaming. Not averse to writing under an assumed name himself, Baillet, a.k.a. 'A.B.', nonetheless exhibits serious unease about 'disguised authors', and that unease is registered in a series of very striking demonological metaphors" (Tunstall). Barbier and Brunet both carefully studied the work for their own bibliographies. Baillet (1649-1706 was a French scholar, theologian and man of letters, best known as the first biographer of Descartes. The book is uncommon, with 16 copies located in institutions worldwide.

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Duodecimo (166 x 92 mm). Contemporary sprinkled calf, brown calf label, spine richly gilt to compartments.


20th-century ownership signature and bookplate to pastedown, the latter partially removed, and ownership stamp to title page. Wear to extremities, joints cracked but holding, initial and final leaves toned at extremities. A good copy.


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