Paris: Henrichs, An XI (1803). First edition. Hardcover. Small octavo (7 1/2 x 4 3/4"). cxxiii, , 259, pp. Contemporary quarter calf over paper covered boards, with gold lettering and tooling to spine. Ribbon marker.
A collection of poems purporting to have been written in the 15th century by Clotilde de Surville. Marguerite-Éléonore Clotilde de Vallon-Chalys, dame de Surville, was born in the early years of the 15th century at Vallon. In 1421 she married Berenger de Surville, who was killed at the Siege of Orléans in 1428. Her husband's absence at the war inspired her heroic verses and his death her elegiac poems. The last of her poems is an ode to her first-born, and the one before is a chant royal addressed to Charles VIII.
"In 1803 Charles Vanderbourg published as the "Poésies de Marguerite-Éléonore Clotilde de Vallon-Chalys, Depuis, Madame de Surville" some forty poems dealing with love and war. The history given in the introduction of the discovery of the manuscript was evidently a fable, and the poems were set down by most authorities as forgeries, especially as they contained many anachronisms and were written in accordance with modern laws of prosody.
The manuscript had been in the possession of Jean François Marie, marquis de Surville, an Émigré who returned to France in 1798 to raise an insurrection in Provence, and had paid the penalty with his life.
In 1863 Antonin Mace made further inquiries on the subject and discovered letters from Vanderbourg to Surville's widow. This correspondence makes it clear that Vanderbourg was innocent of forgery and believed that the poems were of 15th century date, and that the anachronisms of matter and form were due to retouching by Surville. But the researches of Mace interested local antiquarians, and documentary evidence was produced that the wife of Berenger de Surville was Marguerite Chalis, not Clotilde, and that the marriage dated only from 1428. Moreover, Berenger, whose death at the siege of Orléans was one of the leading motives of the book, lived for twenty years after that date.
Friends of M. de Surville also disclosed the fact that the marquis had contributed archaic poetry to a Lausanne journal." For more information, see: Revue critique, 7. année (1873), 8. année (1874) and P. Cottin, Bulletin du bibliophile (1894).
Binding rubbed along spine, back cover and edges. Minor and sporadic foxing throughout. Text in French. Binding in overall good-, interior in good to very good condition. g- to vg. Item #44197