Anticipating the European Union

Sully, Maximilien de Béthune, duc de. Mémoires des sages et royalles oeconomies d'estat, domestiques, politiques et militaires de Henry le Grand, l'Exemplaire des Roys, le Prince des Vertus, des Armes & des Loix, & le Pere en effet de ses peuples François.

"Amstelredam" [= Rouen], "chez Alethinosgraphe de Clearetimelée, & Graphexechon de Pistariste, A l'enseigne des trois Vertus couronnées d'Amaranthe", [1649].

Folio (248 x 370 mm). 2 parts in 1 vol. (8), 535 (but: 435) pp. (8), 459 (but: 463) pp. With half-page handcoloured woodcut vignette on both title-pages. Contemporary armorial red morocco, finely gilt and signed by Jean-Édouard Niédrée. All edges gilt, gilt inner dentelle, leading edges gilt.

 9,500.00

Splendid deluxe copy of the Rouen-printed reprint of the first two parts of the Duke of Sully's notorious memoirs. Here, he develops his vision of a Europe comprised of fifteen roughly equal-sized European states, under the direction of a "Very Christian Council of Europe", and possessed of a common army. This famous "Grand Design", a utopian plan for a Christian republic, is often cited as one of the first grand schemes anticipating the European Union. This Rouen edition of 1649 was precisely copied after the very scarce editio princeps, printed between 1639 and 1640 by Jacques Bouquet at Château de Sully in fewer than 400 copies. The first two parts cover the years from 1570 to 1605. The editio princeps of part III and IV was published by Augustin Courbé in Paris in 1662.

Finely copy bound by Niédrée for the Baron François-Florentin-Achille de Seillière (1813-73).

Cioranescu 63703. Kress 537. Einaudi 5506. Goldsmiths' 686. L. Avezou, Sully à travers l'histoire (2001), p. 119f. Rahir 649. Leblanc, De Thomas More à Chaptal (1961), 8.

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