Memoires De Mr De B***. ( Bovy) Tom I & II.

By Courtilz de Sandras, Gatien.

Printed: 1711

Publisher: Henry Schetten. Amsterdam

Dimensions 10 × 17 × 2 cm
Language

Language: French

Size (cminches): 10 x 17 x 2

Condition: Very good  (See explanation of ratings)

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Description

Tan leather binding with green and red title plates, gilt banding decoration and lettering on the spine.

Memoires De Mr de Bovy, Secretaire de Mr L C D R. (Le Cardinal de Bickerien).

Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras (1644, Montargis – 8 May 1712, Paris) was a French novelist, journalist, pamphleteer and memorialist.

His abundant output includes short stories, gallant letters, tales of historical love affairs (Les Intrigues amoureuses de la Cour de France, 1684), historical and political works, biographies and semi-fictional “memoirs” (in the first person; his prefaces often indicate that the works were composed from papers found after the subject’s death) of historical figures from the recent past (such as the Marquis de Montbrun and M. de Rochefort). His memoir-novels (Mémoires de M.L.C.D.R., 1687; Mémoires de M. d’Artagnan, 1700; Mémoires de M. de B.; 1711) describe the social and political world of Richelieu and Mazarin with a picaresque realism (spies, kidnappings, and political machinations predominate) and they were important precursors to both French picaresque novels and literary realism in the 18th century.

Courtilz de Sandras is best known today for his semi-fictionalized memoirs of the famous musketeer d’Artagnan which were published in 1700 (27 years after the death of d’Artagnan) and which served as the model for Alexandre Dumas, père’s portrayal of d’Artagnan in The Three Musketeers (Fr: Les trois mousquetaires), Twenty Years After (Fr: Vingt ans après) and The Vicomte de Bragelonne (Fr: Le Vicomte de Bragelonne ou Dix ans plus tard).

Courtilz de Sandras served in the army before becoming a writer. He was imprisoned several times in the Bastille where Besmaux, the former companion of d’Artagnan, was warden and it was most likely from this source that he learned the details of d’Artagnan’s life.

Charles de Batz de Castelmore, also known as d’Artagnan and later Count d’Artagnan (c. 1611 – 25 June 1673), was a French Musketeer who served Louis XIV as captain of the Musketeers of the Guard. He died at the siege of Maastricht in the Franco-Dutch War. A fictionalised account of his life by Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras formed the basis for the d’Artagnan Romances of Alexandre Dumas, père, most famously including The Three Musketeers (1844). The heavily fictionalised version of d’Artagnan featured in Dumas’ works and their subsequent screen adaptations is now far more widely known than the real historical figure.

D’Artagnan was born at the Château de Castelmore near Lupiac in south-western France. His father, Bertrand de Batz lord of Castelmore, was the son of a newly ennobled merchant, Arnaud de Batz, who purchased the Château de Castelmore. Charles de Batz went to Paris in the 1630s, using the name of his mother Françoise de Montesquiou d’Artagnan. D’Artagnan found a way to enter into the Musketeers in 1632 through the support of his uncle, Henri de Montesquiou d’Artagnan or perhaps thanks to the influence of Henri’s friend, Monsieur de Tréville (Jean-Armand du Peyrer, Comte de Troisville). D’Artagnan joined the guards in the mid-1630s and served under Captain des Essarts. The regiment saw much action in the early 1640s, taking part in sieges at Arras, Aire-sur-la-Lys, la Bassée and Bapaume in 1640–41 and Collioure and Perpignan in 1642. Whether or not d’Artagnan was personally involved is unclear, but it is likely he took part in some, if not all, of these sieges.  While in the Musketeers, d’Artagnan sought the protection of the influential Cardinal Mazarin, France’s principal minister since 1643. In 1646, the Musketeers company was dissolved, but d’Artagnan continued to serve his protector Mazarin.

D’Artagnan had a career in espionage for Cardinal Mazarin, in the years after the first Fronde. Due to d’Artagnan’s faithful service during this period, Louis XIV entrusted him with many secret and delicate situations that required complete discretion. He followed Mazarin during his exile in 1651 in the face of the hostility of the aristocracy. In 1652 d’Artagnan was promoted to lieutenant in the Gardes Françaises, and fought at the Battle of Stenay in 1654, as well as in sieges at Landrecies and Saint-Ghislaine, then to captain in 1655. In 1658, he became a second lieutenant in the newly reformed Musketeers. This was a promotion, as the Musketeers were far more prestigious than the Gardes-Françaises.

D’Artagnan was famous for his connection with the arrest of Nicolas Fouquet. Fouquet was Louis XIV’s finance commissioner and aspired to take the place of Mazarin as the king’s advisor. Fouquet was also a lover of grand architecture and employed the greatest architects and artisans in the building of his Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte. He celebrated the completion with a most extravagant feast, at which every guest was given a horse. The king however felt upstaged by the grandeur of the home and event and, suspecting that such magnificence could only be explained through Fouquet’s pilfering the royal treasury, three weeks later had d’Artagnan arrest Fouquet. To prevent his escape by bribery, d’Artagnan was assigned to guard him for four years until Fouquet was sentenced to life imprisonment.

In 1667, d’Artagnan was promoted to captain-lieutenant of the Musketeers, the effective commander as the nominal captain was the king. As befitted his rank and position, he could be identified by his striking burgundy, white, and black livery—the colours of the commanding officer of the Musketeers. Another of d’Artagnan’s assignments was the governorship of Lille, which was won in battle by France in 1667. D’Artagnan was an unpopular governor and longed to return to battle. He found his chance when Louis XIV went to war with the Dutch Republic in the Franco-Dutch War. After being recalled to service, d’Artagnan was subsequently killed in battle on 25 June 1673, when a musket ball tore into his throat at the siege of Maastricht.

The French historian Odile Bordaz believes that he was buried in Saint Peter and Paul Church in Wolder, the Netherlands. In contrast, the archaeologist Wim Dijkman, curator of Maastricht, of which Wolder is a district, says that there is no historical or archeological evidence of the claim.

 Alexandre Dumas (born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie , 24 July 1802 – 5 December 1870), also known as Alexandre Dumas père (where père is French for ‘father’, to distinguish him from his son Alexandre Dumas fils), was a French writer. His works have been translated into many languages and he is one of the most widely read French authors. Many of his historical novels of high adventure were originally published as serials, including The Count of Monte CristoThe Three MusketeersTwenty Years After and The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later. His novels have been adapted since the early twentieth century into nearly 200 films.

Prolific in several genres, Dumas began his career by writing plays, which were successfully produced from the first. He also wrote numerous magazine articles and travel books; his published works totalled 100,000 pages. In the 1840s, Dumas founded the Théâtre Historique in Paris.

His father, General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie, was born in the French colony of Saint-Domingue (present-day Haiti) to Alexandre Antoine Davy de la Pailleterie, a French nobleman, and Marie-Cessette Dumas, an African slave. At age 14, Thomas-Alexandre was taken by his father to France, where he was educated in a military academy and entered the military for what became an illustrious career.

Dumas’s father’s aristocratic rank helped young Alexandre acquire work with Louis-Philippe, Duke of Orléans, then as a writer, a career which led to early success. Decades later, after the election of Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte in 1851, Dumas fell from favour and left France for Belgium, where he stayed for several years, then moved to Russia for a few years before going to Italy. In 1861, he founded and published the newspaper L’Indépendent, which supported Italian unification, before returning to Paris in 1864.

Though married, in the tradition of Frenchmen of higher social class, Dumas had numerous affairs (allegedly as many as 40). He was known to have had at least four illegitimate children, although twentieth-century scholars believe it was seven. He acknowledged and assisted his son, Alexandre Dumas, to become a successful novelist and playwright. They are known as Alexandre Dumas père (‘father’) and Alexandre Dumas fils (‘son’). Among his affairs, in 1866, Dumas had one with Adah Isaacs Menken, an American actress then less than half his age and at the height of her career.

The English playwright Watts Phillips, who knew Dumas in his later life, described him as “the most generous, large-hearted being in the world. He also was the most delightfully amusing and egotistical creature on the face of the earth. His tongue was like a windmill – once set in motion, you never knew when he would stop, especially if the theme was himself.”

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