Bordeaux: Pierre Calamy, . First edition. Hardcover. 24mo (6 1/4 x 4"). 88, 8pp. Modern half calf over marbled paper covered boards, with gold lettering to spine. Modern endpapers and fly leaves. Woodblock frontispiece and title page. Decorative headpieces.
Rare "Almanach des Dieux" (Almanach of the Gods) for the year 1722, containing a calendar, articles on remedies to stay safe from the plague, on how to grow fruit trees, etc..
Also includes a list of the births and deaths which occured in the French Royal family from 1645 to 1720, a list of the main Fairs in the kingdom, a list of arrivals and departures of mail coaches from Bordeaux, etc..
This almanach is prefaced by an anti-semitic text titled "récit véritable" (true story) about a certain Felix Coën, a Jewish messianic pretender in Ferrara (Italy) supposedly crowned on August 2, 1721 by the local rabbi at the synagogue, while a gentile newborn was being bled to death, and his blood collected to be used for Challah bread.
The story ends with the Inquisitor of Ferrara arresting the rabbi, the whole Jewish assistance and Felix Coën, and preparing their upcoming trials.
This ritual murder calumny was used by the Christian Church in its persecution of the Jews. To accentuate the horror supposed to be felt by any "good" Christian reader, this anti-semitic text is accompanied by an impressive 9 x 8" folded plate (image: 8 3/8 x 7") in red ink depicting the gruesome scene. At verso, also printed in red, is an advertisement from publisher Pierre Calamy.
We assume this story to be fictitious, with a clear antisemitic intent as we haven't been able to find any historical reference to either Felix Coën, the "messianic pretender," or to the August 2, 1721 events leading to the arrest of the Rabbi of Ferrara and the whole congregation.
This work is extremely rare: No copies in OCLC-WorldCat, and no electronic copy to be found online.
Verso of plate, and inner margin of pages 13 to 16 expertly repaired. Slight water-staining at lower margin of very first and very last leaves (not affecting lettering). Minor and sporadic foxing throughout. Text in French. Binding and interior in overall good+ to very good condition. g+ to vg. Item #43688