[De l'institution du Prince.] De Linstitution du Prince. Livre contenant plusieurs Histoires, Enseignements, & saiges Dicts des Anciens tant Grecs que Latins: Faict & composé par Maistre Guillaume Budé, lors Secretaire & maistre de la Librairie, & depuis Maistre des Requestes, et Conseiller du Roy. Reveu, enrichy d’Arguments, divisé par Chapitres, & augmenté de Scholies & Annotations, Par hault & puissant Seigneur, Missire Jean de Luxembourg, Abbé d’Jury. Guillaume Budé, Jean de Luxembourg, Étienne Dolet.
[De l'institution du Prince.] De Linstitution du Prince. Livre contenant plusieurs Histoires, Enseignements, & saiges Dicts des Anciens tant Grecs que Latins: Faict & composé par Maistre Guillaume Budé, lors Secretaire & maistre de la Librairie, & depuis Maistre des Requestes, et Conseiller du Roy. Reveu, enrichy d’Arguments, divisé par Chapitres, & augmenté de Scholies & Annotations, Par hault & puissant Seigneur, Missire Jean de Luxembourg, Abbé d’Jury.
Budé’s Mirror For Princes

[De l'institution du Prince.] De Linstitution du Prince. Livre contenant plusieurs Histoires, Enseignements, & saiges Dicts des Anciens tant Grecs que Latins: Faict & composé par Maistre Guillaume Budé, lors Secretaire & maistre de la Librairie, & depuis Maistre des Requestes, et Conseiller du Roy. Reveu, enrichy d’Arguments, divisé par Chapitres, & augmenté de Scholies & Annotations, Par hault & puissant Seigneur, Missire Jean de Luxembourg, Abbé d’Jury.

Imprimé à l’Arrivour Abbaye [Larrivour]: dudict Seign, Par Maistre Nicole Paris, 1547. First edition, later version (first in 1546). Title page in an ornate frame. Woodcut printer’s device on the last page. Woodcut initials throughout. Woodcut coat of arms of Jean de Luxembourg on S1r. In later paste paper. Gauffered edges. [Complete:] A4, B–S6; (6), 15–16, 13–204, (12) p. Label with shelfmark on the front panel. Old collection stamps on the title page. Budé’s name underlined in ink on the title page, ghosting. Wormholes at the gutter. Binding artistically restored. Overall in very good condition.

A scarce edition of Budé’s mirror for princes.

This important mirror for princes was written by Guillaume Budé (1467–1540), the greatest French humanist, or the “marvel of France” as to how Erasmus named him. Budé was a scholar, diplomat, royal librarian, and the king’s secretary, who is credited to bring about a revival of classic studies in France. He is also known for his treatise on ancient coins and measures, De Asse et Partibus Eius (1514), for his role in the founding of the Collège de France by Francis I, and the library at the Fontainebleau Palace, which formed the nucleus of today’s French national library.

Budé composed and presented a collection of apothegms to Francis I in 1522 (some sources dates it earlier), and the text became widely disseminated although the author did not wish for it to be published (Bénévent-Walsby). Eventually, three variants of the text were printed some years after Budé’s death, and by the present one, it gained its title De l’institution du prince. The book became very popular immediately among the nobility, and copies of this, the Larrivour-edition, made their way into the libraries of the highest authorities throughout Europe, among them kings (e.g. Louis XIII of France, Edward VI of England), dukes and princes (Gaston, Duke of Orléans), and the elite of the Catholic Church (Cardinal Mazarin). 

Until the latest scholarly researches, it was thought that De l'institution du Prince was published in 1547 in three editions, each used different manuscript versions, and they were printed in different locations, in Paris, Lyon, and Larrivour. In their recent thorough study, Bénévent and Walsby proved that only the Paris-edition was printed in 1547 (and published with 1547 and 1548 imprints), the Lyon-edition was printed already in 1544 but published only in 1547, and the present Larrivour-edition by Nicole Paris was printed in 1546. Our copy, with the date of 1547 on the title page, is a reissue of the 1546 print with an altered, bizarrely structured first gathering (two copies exist with 1546 imprint, they are held in Leiden and Turin). Bénévent and Walsby assume that the irregularities of this gathering were caused due to the removal of a laudatory text praising Budé, a text written by his friend, the persecuted – and later executed – humanist scholar and printer, Étienne Dolet. The study suggests the Dolet was the editor of the Lyon-edition and might have been involved in the Larrivour-edition too, thus the date of his death in 1546 could explain the delay of the publication of both editions.

Scarce on the market.

Bibl.: Bénévent, Ch., Walsby, M.: Lost Issues and Self-Censorship: Rethinking the Publishing History of Guillaume Budé’s De l’Institution du Prince. In: Lost Books. Reconstructing the Print World of Pre-Industrial Europe. Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2016. pp. 239–275.

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Price: €15,000.00