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Original price £350.00 - Original price £350.00
Original price
£350.00 - £350.00
Current price £350.00

[Meditations]: [Incipit]: 1er Mars. L’Evangile du Samedi de la Semaine de la Sexagésime Selon St. Luc. Ch. 18. V. 1-8. France, eighteenth century (probably around 1783 or 1794).

This neat manuscript of a collection of devotional material in French for the months of March and April includes both decorative section divisions and running headings to facilitate navigation. There is generally about five or six pages of content per day, comprising a passage from the Gospels and a three-part meditation. Copying out the text was perhaps a devotional exercise in itself. It may be the work of a juvenile.

The meditations appear to derive from the popular Évangile médité et distribué pour tous les jours de l’année, written by Jansenist Bonaventure Giraudeau (1697-1774) and first published in 1773 (we have compared a later edition only). For the Gospel passages, our initial survey has shown correspondences to the Port-Royal Bible, translated by Jansenist Louis-Isaac Lemaistre de Sacy (1613-1684) and first printed in 1667.

The manuscript was evidently compiled for use in a year in which Easter Sunday fell on the 20th of April, and thus probably 1783 or 1794. It is not clear whether this copy was part of a set covering all or more of the year. Perhaps it was intended as a devotion for around Easter time in one specific year. It is a particularly well-preserved example of the material culture of private devotion in late eighteenth-century France.


Manuscript. One volume, 18.2 x 12 cms in binding, pp. 1-129, 140-414 (all but 3 with writing). No gap in text despite jump in pagination. Textblock of pale blue paper. Frame ruling in pencil, written in a single neat hand throughout, c.17 lines to the page. Running headings, decorative embellishments in ink at section divisions. Modern pencil note to front free endpaper. Bound in vellum over boards, red edges.

Condition (textblock): light foxing and spotting; small repair to paper defect at lower corner of pp. 231-32 (not in text area), apparently contemporary with the ruling. Condition (binding): light staining to vellum.