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

[Besoigne, Jérôme]: Concorde des Livres de la Sagesse, ou la morale du S. Esprit. A Paris, chez les Veuves Rondet & Labottiere, rue S. Jacques, près la Fontaine S. Severin, au Compas, 1737.

This concordance to the Old Testament Books of Wisdom was printed by two widows who appear to have formed a business alliance with a particular interest in printing works by the Jansenist writer Jérôme Besoigne (1686-1763).

The BNF catalogue shows that the widows Rondet and Labottière printed various texts by Besoigne between 1737 and 1749, including the present work. OCLC shows that they also printed various editions of a Latin-French dictionary with Theodore De Hansy.

Both women had the maiden name Boudot and were perhaps related. Widow Rondet (née Edmée-Jeanne-Françoise Boudot, d. 1760) had been married to a Paris printer, and she also published other works under her own name. Widow Labottière (née Marie-Marguerite Boudout, d. 1776) was married to a printer who published works in both Paris and Bordeaux, though she printed under her own name in Paris only. She did so almost entirely with widow Rondet, with apparently only a single work published under her name alone—a further work by Besoigne (1753).

The concordance is presented as a moral compendium, with four principal sections respectively covering man’s duties towards God, man’s duties to himself, man’s duties to his neighbours, and rules of conduct. The final section includes discussions of envy (p. 328), comportment at meals (p. 339), and modesty (p. 346).

This copy seems to have been passed down within a family, though it was not necessarily (always) used for reading. The annotations at the rear suggest it could have been used for writing practice, and it may also be a member of the Hocquerelle who used the pages to press a flower.


One of two editions from first year of printing, the other longer. One volume, approx. 14.5 x 8.5 cms in binding, duodecimo, pp. [8] 351 [25]. Both final blanks present. 1 headpiece plus several decorative initials and tailpieces.

Bound in brown speckled calf over boards. Five raised bands. Gold-tooled brown goatskin label to second spine compartment (‘LIVRE DE LA SAGE’). Gold-tooled decoration to remaining spine compartments. Red edges with brown speckles. Marbled pastedowns and endpapers.

Condition (textblock): light browning and staining, title page creased. Condition (binding): Rubbing, scratching, and substantial wear to leather. Front cover sprung, joints cracking. Front free endpaper detaching, final endpaper with staining and holes to gutter.

Provenance: Owned and used by various members of the Hocquerelle family (‘Jean Bte Hocquerelle’ inscribed to title page; ‘Louis et Lois Hocquerelle donnerant oresons’ written on recto of final endpaper, guided by a rudimentary ruling pattern in the same ink; ‘Lois [sic] et Lois Hocque [sic]’ inscribed to verso of front free endpaper). It was perhaps a Hocquerelle who added the pressed flower between pp. 316-317.


Not identical with Conlon 37:326 (our edition not in Conlon). OCLC shows copies outside mainland Europe at Newberry Library, Saint Paul University Library Ontario, and the University of Ottowa. We have handled another copy previously.

Arbour, Roméo, Dictionnaire des femmes libraires en France (1470-1870) (Genève: Droz, 2003), pp. 308 and 462.

De Feller, F.-X., Biographie universelle … Tome deuxième (Paris, chez Gauthier Frères et Cie, 1834), p. 278.