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SAXE, Maurice, Comte de.

Mes Rêveries....

Ouvrage Posthume... Augmenté d'une Histoire abrégée de sa Vie, & de Différentes Pièces qui y ont Repport. Par Monsieur l'Abbé Pérau.

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Published: Amsterdam and Leipzig, Arkstrée et Merkus; Paris, Desaint and Saillant, Durand, 1757

Stock Code: 37954

OR On display in 43 Dover Street


First edition thus. "De Saxe's work is a comprehensive treatise on war. He puts forward his ideal military model, his "legion", and taking issue with the views and practices of his age, he advances many original ideas. However, rather than discussing his military doctrines, the aim of this book is to elucidate the intellectual premises that dominated his mind: he saw a need to subject military affairs to reasoned criticism and intellectual treatment, and the ensuing military doctrines were perceived as forming a definitive system." Gat The Origins of Military Thought, p.33 Carlyle described it as a "strange military farrago, dictated, as I should think, under opium", which is perhaps not entirely as unfair as it may seem, a note on the original MS at Dresden reads, "I composed this work in Thirteen nights: I was ill, therefore, it may perhaps bear marks of the fever which I had. This ought to excuse the regularity of the arrangement, as also the elegance of style. I wrote in a military manner and to kill time." Whatever the oddness of its style the Reveries... was immensely influential, reprinted three times in 1757 and again in 1761 and 1763, German editions of 1757 and 1767 and English of 1757, 1759 and 1776.
The Macclesfield copies with the Shirburn Castle blind stamp through the prelims. and bookplates to the front endpapers, that on the pastedowns being that of Lieutenant-General George Lane Parker, younger son of the Second Earl, who served for more than twenty years in the 1st Foot Guards. In 1773 at rank of Major-General he was appointed Colonel of the 20th Foot and saw service in the War of Independence. One of his contributions to the Shirburn Castle Library was a remarkable collection of books detailing the professional interests of a soldier in the latter part of the C18th. A handsome and well-provenanced set of this important work.

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2 volumes, quarto (280 x 210 mm). Contemporary sprinkled calf, raised bands, spine gilt in compartments with floral and foliate tools, red morocco title piece, green stained and gilt "numbering piece", gilt barred edge-roll, green silk page-markers, edges sprinkled in red.


84 plates, 37 of them folding, 4 of them coloured, wood-engraved head- and tailpieces.


Some light browning, one plate slightly misfolded and standing proud at the fore-edge, some light shelf-wear, corners a little soft, head- and tailcaps scuffed, but overall a very good set.


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