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Avantures merveilleuses et galantes, 1761.

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€7.500,00 EUR
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€7.500,00 EUR


Charlie Hebdo avant la lettre


[Lancelin de Laval (= Philippe Lefebvre (1705-1784))].

Avantures merveilleuses et galantes de Mahomet prophete des musulmans. Histoire secrette traduite du Persan.

La Mecque [=Paris], no name [= Prault], 1761.


12°. 274 pp. With an etched title-page.

Contemporary marbled calf with smooth gold-tooled spine, red morocco title label, red sprinkled edges, marbled endpapers. Monogram "GL" gold-tooled on the covers.


Highly controversial French lyrical poem mocking the prophet Muhammad in word and image. This is the extremely rare second edition of four and the only one with an illustrated title-page. This second edition is not found in the Bibliotheque nationale de France (BNF). The illustrated title depicts the prophet surrounded by naked women, which of course goes willingly against the Muslim law that prohibits any depiction of him. It is unclear who the responsible artist was.
                In 1754 the first edition appeared with the title Histoire secrette du prophete des turcs traduite de l'arabe, printed in “Constantinople” = Paris, Laurent-Charles d'Houry, 274 pp. In the declaration of the printer to the union chamber of booksellers and printers of Paris it is specified that he was working "on behalf of Mr Lefevre" (see no. FRBNF33069995). This is a different work than "Les amours de Mahomet" (1750) by the same author. In 1761 the second edition appeared (offered here). Compared to the first edition the title is completely changed and an “avis du traducteur” is added, which states that changes had to be made from the “original manuscript in Mecca” because it was “too free to be read with decency and without hurting the chastity of our morals”. The rest of the text is identical to the first edition. According to the title the book was printed in Mecca, which is obviously fake. We were able to trace a record in Grolier’s bibliography that claims it was printed in Paris by Prault. The third and fourth editions appeared in 1775 and 1781 respectively, again with different titles but without an illustration and with the same text as the first edition.


Condition: hinges slightly worn, tiny ink mark on margin of title, minor thumbing, otherwise in excellent condition.


Grolier, Le guide du bibliophile et du libraire, 1952, volume VI, p. 50.

Pierre M. Conlon, Le Siècle des Lumières: bibliographie chronologique. 1737-1742, Geneve, Librairie Droz, 1986, vol. VII, no. 54: 779.

Not included in the general catalog of the BnF; not in Barbier, Brunet; Martin, Mylne & Frautschi; Weller.




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