HAMILTON, Anthony, Count, & Mr. [Abel] Boyer, (trans.)

Memoirs of the Life of Count de Grammont:

Containing, in Particular, the Amorous Intrigues of the Court of England In the Reign of King Charles II.

London: J. Round, W. Taylor, J. Brown, W. Lewis, J. Grves, 1714 Stock Code: 133350
£1,250.00

"Amorous Intrigues"

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Notes

First edition in English of this anonymously published account of Anthony Hamilton's brother-in-law, French nobleman Philibert, Count de Gramont (1621-1707), and the intrigues of the Restoration court. This first edition is commercially uncommon, particularly in such an attractive binding.

"The book was greeted with considerable critical acclaim on account of its brilliance and vivacity" (ODNB). It was first printed in French the previous year under a false Cologne imprint. The material for this work, provided to Hamilton by Gramont himself towards the end of his life, was so honest and blunt about Gramont and his flaws that, at first, the book was censored. De Gramont's grandmother was Diane d'Andouins, comtesse de Gramont (1554-1621), nicknamed "la belle Corisande," one of the mistresses of Henry IV.

Hamilton, Anthony Antoine, Count Hamilton in the French nobility (1644/5?1719) was a courtier and author who, speaking and writing French fluently, joined in 1691 the court of James II exiled in France. Hamilton's decision to write the memoirs was taken two years before Gramont's death in January 1707. Originally planned in three parts, no manuscript of the third part is known, and only the first two were ever published. They "were circulating in manuscript by May 1712, when the duchesse d'Orléans sent a copy to the dowager electress of Hanover, and they were published anonymously and without authorization the following year" (ODNB).

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Description

Octavo ( 193 x 117 mm). Contemporary red sheep richly gilt, sometime rebacked to style, titles in gilt on black morocco spine label, spine and boards richly gilt, edges gilt on red, marbled endpapers in French curl motif.

Illustrations

2 woodcut headpieces and decorative initials, title page printed in red and black.

Condition

Contemporary ownership inscription of "Lauderdale" to title page, almost certainly Sir Charles Maitland (1688-1744), sixth earl of Lauderdale. Light wear to extremities, a little rubbed, faint offsetting to title verso; a very good copy.

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