SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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ELLIOT, Frances.
Old Court Life in France.

London: Chapman and Hall, 1873.
London: Chapman and Hall, 1873.

Two volumes. [Apparently the] FIRST EDITION. FINE BLUE-GREY CRUSHED MOROCCO ATTRACTIVE GILT BY BAYNTUN (stamp-signed on front turn-ins) boards with a wide gilt frame featuring multiple rules, stippled diapering, and escutcheons at centre points of all four sides, raised bands spines similarly gilt in six compartments - featuring diced side panels and crown or fleuron centrepiece, wide simply ruled gilt turn-ins with foliate corner pieces, marbled endpapers and all edges gilt. EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED with 93engraved plates (of which 22 are coloured by hand; 51 are inlaid to size; one is laid down and three are double page). Front paste downs with bookplate of Robert Marceau. Title pages printed in red and black. Spines uniformly sunned to a pleasing olive brown, a few plates with light foxing, but otherwise only trivial defects. A FINE COPY IN A WELL PRESERVED DECORATIVE BINDING. For those who wish to master French history of the 16th and 17th centuries this pair of volumes would be a most enjoyable sail through the period. The author has based her account of French monarchs from Francis I through Louis XIV not on official chronicles but on the gossipy memoirs of such writers as the Duc de Saint-Simon and Madame Charlotte the German sister-in-law of Louis XIV. Court intrigues and the rise and fall of royal mistresses are her meat not tiresome battles or politics. Mrs. Frances Elliot (1820-98) specialized in writing popular history and historical fiction. An Englishwoman whose works went through many editions in the United States as well as Britain she preferred continental European settings. The plates an assortment of portraits historical scenes landscapes and architecturalviews comprise a well-chosen enhancement to the work. SCARCE. Coloured plates in order: Volume 1. 1. Frontispiece. Charles V. Title page. 2. Chateau of Amboise on Loire. 3. [No caption] A Noblewoman. 4. A. Pare. [portrait] 5. Gallery of Henri II, Fontainebleau. 6. Tasso. [portrait] 7. Tours. 8. Sully. [portrait] 9. Henry IV. 10. Rouen. 11. Notre Dame. Volume 2. 12. Frontispiece. Louis XIV. Title page. 13. Henrietta Maria, Queen of Charles I. 14. Charlotte de la Tremouille, Countess of Derby. 15. Giacomo Tintoretto. 16. Mademoiselle de la Valliere. 17. Colbert. [portrait] 18. Madame de Montespan. 19. Bossuet. [portrait] 20. Moliere. [portrait] 21. Rubens. [portrait] 22. Madame de Maintenon.