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Original price £950.00 - Original price £950.00
Original price
£950.00 - £950.00
Current price £950.00

‘Un solitaire’: Paraphrase sur les Pseaumes penitentiaux. Châteaulandon, 1714-1716.

A neatly presented manuscript dedicated to paraphrases of the penitential psalms in French. The title page attributes the work to ‘un Solitaire’, a word with Jansenist connotations; the men who lived ascetic lives at Port-Royal were known as the solitaires.

The text in the margin at the end of the final section appears to be a colophon indicating that the text was written in solitude in 1716, though it is unclear whether this refers to the original authorial composition, the scribal copying process, or indeed both (p. 316). In any case, it represents a two-year gap since 26 July 1714, the date on the title page. The location on the title page, Châteaulandon, is perhaps to be associated with the Augustinian abbey of Saint-Séverin in Château-Landon.

The manuscript opens with a short preface by the author. Each of the seven penitential psalms is then treated in turn, often with marginal paratext. Towards the end, a short ‘avertissement’ addresses interpretive issues relating to psalms 99 and 103 (pp. 282-97). At the close of the manuscript, there are sections devoted to the Triumph of David and Psalm 144. The manuscript includes numerous corrections, one of which is noted as ‘correction fraternelle’, perhaps suggesting collaborative work (p. 155).


Manuscript, one volume. 19 x 13.5 cms in binding. pp. [2] 1-169, 180-189, 170-204, 230-234, 135-138, 239-244, 246-319 [7]; all except 9 pages with writing. Frame ruling in pencil, often with marginal paratext beyond the frame. Additional vertical rule to create two columns on pp. 231-53, 274-81, and 305-12.

Bound in brown sheepskin over boards. Single fillet blind-tooled frame to both covers. Five raised bands and six spine compartments. Red goatskin label in the second spine compartment with gold-tooled lettering (PARAPH. SVR. LES. PSEAVM.). Gold-tooled decoration to remaining spine compartments. Pastedowns to front and rear, one free endpaper at front and rear. Red edges.

Condition (textblock): light browning, staining and spotting, occasional minor tears to blank outer margins. Condition (binding): Rubbing and delamination to leather, light wear to edges and corners, one small hole (worming?) to rear joint, front board slightly sprung.


  1. ‘Ex lib B(..?) de Pontailler-sur-Saône’ (title page)
  2. ‘Nos Volûme Milou âine’ (p. 2). To the left, the letters A. F.(?) have been crossed out.
  3. Pencil notes to verso front free endpaper (10) and rear pastedown (96).


CCFr lists paraphrases of the penitential psalms by Étienne Martin de Pinchesne (1671) and Jacques Roger (c.1650), but both are described as ‘en vers’ whereas the present text is in prose. CCFr also shows Louys Imbert, Paraphrase sur les Pseaumes penitentiaux, et sur les Lamentations de Jeremie (Tholon, chez Benoist Collomb, 1650), which we have not seen.