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Original price £1,600.00 - Original price £1,600.00
Original price
£1,600.00 - £1,600.00
Current price £1,600.00

[Boyer, Pierre]: Maximes et avis pour conduire un pecheuur a une veritable conversion[L’Abbé Nicolas Le Gros]: Explication de l’Apocalipse; [Jacques-Vincent Bidal d’Asfield?]: Explication de la prophetie de Jonas; [Jacques-Joseph Duguet]: Principes pour l’intelligence de l’ecriture Ste de L’ancien Testament; [Le Sesne d’Étemare, Jean-Baptiste?]: Explication de plusieurs propheties touchant la conversion des Juifs; [Le Sesne d’Étemare, Jean-Baptiste]: Dogmes de La grace prouves par la conduit de Dieu sur les Juifs et sur les gentils; [Bible commentary]: Explication Des chap 9 et 10 du premier livre des Roys…; [Joubert, François]: Parallelle abbregé de l’histoire du peuple d’Israël et le histoire de l’eglise [plus 6 further texts]. [France, eighteenth century].

A rich and carefully compiled manuscript compendium of texts written by important Jansenists including Pierre Boyer (1677-1755, leader of a group of convulsionnaires), Abbé d’Etemare (1682-1770, a pioneer of Figurism) and Jacques-Joseph Duguet (1649-1733, also associated with Figurism). The longest text in the manuscript (text 3; 255 pages) is a rare copy of an unpublished commentary on the apocalypse attributed to Jansenist Nicolas Le Gros (1675-1751). The compilation additionally includes an apparently unpublished commentary on 1 Kings, chapters 9 and 10 (text 11; 17 pages).

This manuscript offers a conspectus of several interrelated Jansenist topics relating to biblical interpretation. Figurism, a Jansenist exegesis that sought parallels between biblical events and ecclesiastical history, is a recurring theme. For example, in work 6, Duguet offers guidelines for interpreting the Old Testament. Work 12 outlines a parallel history of the people of Israel and the history of the church.

Particular attention is given in work 8 (apparently written by d’Etemare) and work 9 to Old Testament prophecies concerning the conversion of the Jews, associated with the second Coming of Christ and impending Judgement. This apocalyptic strain also underpins work 3, entitled Explication de l’Apocalipse and attributed here to ‘M. Le Gros’. This is L’Abbé Nicolas Le Gros, a Jansenist who ultimately sought refuge abroad for his views. The present copy is one of just a few manuscript witnesses of this text, which was apparently never published.

While the manuscript is mostly written in one hand, later scribe(s) have added material in originally blank spaces. This includes miscellaneous notes on the history of Rome (text 7).

A working handlist with comparisons to printed editions is available upon request. The following is a summary of contents (texts written by hand A unless otherwise stated).

  1. Unidentified short text on flyleaves (hand B?)
  2. [Pierre Boyer]: ‘Maximes et avis pour conduire un pecheuur a une veritableconversion’
  3. [L’Abbé Nicolas Le Gros]: ‘Explication de l’Apocalipse’ [title from preceding blankverso].
  4. Incipit: ‘extrait de Morery. Nicolas de Cusa pag. 933 edit Basil 1568…’
  5. [Jacques-Vincent Bidal d’Asfield?]: ‘Explication de la prophetie de Jonas'
  6. Jacques-Joseph Duguet: ‘Principes pour l’intelligence de l’ecriture Ste de L’ancien Testament’
  7. Originally blank, but now containing miscellaneous notes on Roman history (hand B). The text continues in originally blank spaces after texts 13 and 15.
  8. [Le Sesne d’Étemare, Jean-Baptiste?]: ‘Explication de plusieurs propheties touchant la conversion des Juifs’
  9. ‘Response a l’auteur des remarques sur l’ecrit precedent de la conversion des Juifs’
  10. [Le Sesne d’Étemare, Jean-Baptiste]: ‘Dogmes de La grace prouves par la conduitde Dieu sur les Juifs et sur les gentils’
  11. ‘Explication Des chap 9 et 10 du premier livre des Roys ou l’on trouve dans lavocation de Saül a la Royauté, une figure tres parfaite de la vocation des gentils à la foy et de celle de St Paul leur apôtre’
  12. [Joubert, François]: ‘Parallelle abbregé de l’histoire du peuple d’Israël et le histoire de l’eglise’
  13. ‘Parallelle’ [a list of parallels (in note form) between biblical and contemporary events]
  14. Pierre Boyer: ‘4e gemissement d’une ame vivement touchée de la constitution du 8 7bre 1713’ [title from folio 1rbis]
  15. ‘Table des ouvrages contenus dans ce volume’, with additions by hand B.


    Manuscript. One volume, 22.5 x 18 cms in binding. The works listed above are texts 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, and 10-12. 704 pages overall, all except c.30 pages have writing. F. [1], ff. 20, ff. [7], pp. 255, pp. [5], pp. 55, pp. [3], pp. 64, pp. [4], pp. 73, pp. [5], pp. 27, pp. [11], ff. 3, ff. 68, f. [2]. Generally written by a single hand (hand A), though hand B added text 7. A third hand may be responsible for the brief notes to the front flyleaves (text 1).

    Hand A: written area typically approx. 18.5 cms x 12 cms, c.30 long lines per page (except items 12 and 13, generally in two columns). Hand B: written area extends almost to the page edge, generally with more long lines per page than Hand A. Hand A typically adds catchwords on final versos of quires.

    Bound in brown calf over boards. Five raised bands, blind-tooled title to second spine compartment (OUVRAGES SUR L’ECRITURE S.TE), blind-tooled floral motifs to remaining spine compartments. Brown speckled edges. Manuscript fragment visible in spine. Pastedowns at front and rear, three free endpapers at front and three at rear.

    Condition (textblock): browning and spotting, occasional minor tears to blank outer margins. Condition (binding): Rubbing to leather, headcap defective. Front free endpapers with ink corrosion to notes that have been added there.


    1. Modern pencil note to front pastedown endpaper (29/h). Blue and white circular sticker to front pastedown.
    2. Cropped signature (Du pou[…?]) in upper margin of p. 9 of the second major work (Le Gros, Explication).
    3. Formerly in the collection of Achille and Henri Moranvillé (1827-1895; 1863-1946).
    4. Sold we believe as part of Paris, Tessier & Sarrou, 9 February 2016, lot 16.
    5. Item purchased by us from an indirect source.