Mademoiselle de Lafayette. [With:] Petit Souvenir des Dames. Louis JANET, publisher.
Mademoiselle de Lafayette. [With:] Petit Souvenir des Dames.
Mademoiselle de Lafayette. [With:] Petit Souvenir des Dames.
Mademoiselle de Lafayette. [With:] Petit Souvenir des Dames.
Happy sadness

Mademoiselle de Lafayette. [With:] Petit Souvenir des Dames. Paris: (Ad[rien] Egron for) [Louis] Janet, [1814].

24mo (101 x 61 mm). 48 pages; [12], [6] leaves. Frontispiece portrait, engraved title, and six engraved plates by Leroux after Desenne. Printed in very small types. The Petit Souvenir, entirely engraved, comprises [19] pages, for weekly and monthly notes, all with rule border, all blank except for heading, and, for the months, 12 engraved vignettes and part-borders; four blank pages at end (with rule borders). 12-page letterpress calendar for 1814 bound at end. A few small spots, stains to two calendar leaves. Original pink glazed boards, edges gilt over marbling, matching slipcase (the latter rubbed).***

Only Edition of a women’s literary keepsake devoted to thwarted loves. In 1636 the unhappily married King Louis XIII allegedly became enamored of the 17-year-old Louise Motier de Lafayette, who may have reciprocated his affection. Richelieu tried to make her his spy; she refused, and a year later entered the convent of the Visitandines at Chaillot, of which she later became the Mother Superior. King and nun remained close friends. The almanac contains a prose account of her life, and various romances (poems) on other star-crossed lovers, both fictive and historic, also shown in the delicate engravings. Besides the titular subject, shown with Louis XIII, these include Clément Marot & Marguerite de Valois, and Valentine de Milan [Valentina Visconti], mourning her husband Louis de Valois, Duc d’Orléans, assassinated by his cousin in 1407. An exception to the general sentimentality is a portrait of “la Coquette,” showing a fashionably dressed woman reading a letter in front of her writing table, while a suitor waits behind.

Grand-Carteret, no. 1806, states that this belongs to the same series as two other almanacs of the period, Marie-Antoinette and Madame Elisabeth de France (his nos. 1745 and 1744), although those were published by Le Fuel and were in a larger format. Like those almanacs, this one was reissued over several years, with different calendars; his copy had a calendar for 1817. I locate no other copies.
Item #4024

Price: $350.00