Four years a slave

(Gallonyé, Jean). Histoire d'un esclave qui a esté quatre années dans les Prisons de Sallé en Afrique. Avec un abregé de la Vie du Roy Taffilette.

Lyon, Rolin Glaize, 1679.

12mo. 151, (1) pp. Contemporary French full calf with giltstamped title to prettily gilt spine. All edges sprinkled red.


First Lyons edition.

Jean Gallonyé, from a village near Montpellier, was twenty when captured by Turkish pirates in October 1670 and twenty-four when ransomed. "He had hoped to reach Saint Christopher (now Saint Kitts), where sub-Saharan African slaves were already cultivating sugar cane [...] Gallonyé's account of brute labor, brutal punishment, and bravery through five masters and two failed escape attempts was a paean to his rescuers and a plea 'for true Christians to think occasionally about the infinite number of their brothers who still groan under the same chains and in the same prisons today'" (G. Weiss, Captives and Corsairs, p. 64).

This rare Lyonese edition appeared in the same year as that published by Michallet in Paris, with a different page count. It cannot be determined with certainty which is the original edition, but the present one, printed in Lyon, is incomparably rarer; OCLC shows only 2 copies in libraries internationally (BnF; University of Mannheim). A Dutch edition appeared in 1707.

Some browning throughout. Binding professionally repaired at extremeties, but overall a genuine copy in excellent condition.

OCLC 664453603. Cf. Gay 1233. Landis, European Americana 679/66 (Paris ed.).