Discours sur les causes du débordement du Nil.Paris: Jacques Dallin, 1665 Stock Code: 41178
NotesFirst edition, for the first time published separately, previously included in his Pensées of 1634 and 1662; uncommon, just six copies on WorldCat, three of them in the US. Cureau was Louis XIV's doctor, the monarch apparently having been impressed by his ability to judge character from outward appearance. A precursor of Lavater, Cureau's was indeed best known for his work in the area of physiognomy, but he also published on physics - the nature of light, on rainbows - the occult, and philosophy, the final paper here being a study of the divine in Platonic philosophy. The critic Jean Chapelain, his contemporary, said of him: "C'est un excellent philosophe, et dont les écrits sont purs dans le langage, justes dans le dessein, soutenus dans les ornements, et subtils dans les raisonnements."
This could perhaps be a presentation copy, as in addition to the gilt supralibros there is an inked inscripton, "Pour les Capucins de St. Honoré" to the title page. The Capuchin convent adjoined the Tuileries gardens. The Blackmer copy with bookplate to front pastedown.
Quarto (252 x 183 mm). Contemporary full calf, raised bands to spine, compartments gilt with floral lozenges within double ruled panels, presentation gilt stamp to the front board, "Aux Capuchins de St. Honoré".
Engraved map of the topography of the Nile to the text, title page vignette, historiated initials, engraved head- and tailpieces.
Light browning, a little rubbed on the boards and chafed on the joints, but a very good copy.
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