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Original price £1,800.00 - Original price £1,800.00
Original price
£1,800.00 - £1,800.00
Current price £1,800.00

Bellegarde, Octave de: Soliloques sur les attributs de Dieu. [France, 18th century].

An unpublished text on the attributes of God by Octave de Bellegarde (1587-1646, Archbishop of Sens), who is notable for stoking theological debates at Port-Royal in relation to knowing God. In 1633, Louis XIII brought Port-Royal under Bellegarde’s jurisdiction (Strayer 2008, p. 84). Bellegarde sided with the Sorbonne and the Jesuits in opposing the Chapelet Secret (1627), a controversial work written by Agnès Arnauld (1593-1671, abbess of Port-Royal). Under the influence of the Oratorians, Arnauld’s work subscribed to apophatic theology, a way of thinking which emphasizes the inadequacy of human minds to know God. Bellegarde condemned Agnès Arnauld’s text as heretical (see Conley IEP). In this context we note especially that the present work includes a section entitled ‘De la connoissance qu'on peut avoir de Dieu’ (pp. 70-97).

We have not been able to locate any other copies of this text in manuscript or print. However, a work by this name is mentioned in Bellegarde’s funeral oration: ‘J’ay leu auec ravissement ses Soliloques sur les Attributs de Dieu’ (Godeau 1658, p. 285). The author of this oration, Antoine Godeau (1605-1672), was bishop of Vence at the time.


Manuscript. One volume, 17 x 11.5 cms in binding, pp. 259 [5]; all except 3 pages with writing. Written on pale blue paper, writing area 14 x 8.5 cms, c.21 lines per page, mostly unruled but with occasional frame ruling in pencil at front. Table of contents on first two unnumbered blanks at rear.

Quarter bound in brown sheep and blue paper over boards. Sewn on five supports. Two labels to spine, handwritten on paper with blue decorative borders (‘Soliloques de L’abbe de Bellegarde’, ‘M.SS’). Red edges. Pastedowns of waste printed material. Two free endpapers at front.

Condition (textblock): occasional minor spotting; paper colour slightly faded. Condition (binding): some rubbing, worming and wear, red stain to bottom of front cover, textblock loosening from binding but overall good.


  1. Modern pencil note to front pastedown (29/h).
  2. Formerly in the collection of Achille and Henri Moranvillé (1827-1895; 1863-1946).
  3. Paris, Tessier & Sarrou, 9 February 2016, lot 16.
  4. Item purchased by us from an indirect source, with cataloguing to which we are indebted.


Conley, John J., ‘Agnès Arnauld (1593-1671)’, The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ISSN 2161-0002,, last accessed 16/09/2023.

Godeau, Antoine, ‘Oraison funebre de messire Octave de Bellegarde, Archevesque de Sens, & Primat de Germanie’, in Oeuvres chrestiennes et morales en prose… Tome Premier (Paris, chez Pierre le Petit, 1658), pp. 248-312.

Strayer, Brian E., Suffering Saints: Jansenists and Convulsionnaires in France, 1640-1799
(Eastbourne: Sussex Academic Press, 2008).