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[Manuscript] Storia Delle Massimere di Governo del

[Manuscript] Storia Delle Massimere di Governo del by HOUSSAYE, Abraham-Nicolas Amelot  (1681)

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Author: HOUSSAYE, Abraham-Nicolas Amelot
Title: [Manuscript] Storia Delle Massimere di Governo delle Repubblica di Venezia Descritta da un Secretario d'un Ambosciator di Francia in Venezia
Year: 1681
Publisher: Unpublished thus
Place: Venice, Italy
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: No
Price: £650
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Seventeenth century manuscript copy of this attack on Venetian decadence - possibly undertaken in order to evade the suppression of the second printed edition of this book that followed protests by the Venitian authorities.

Small quarto, pasteboard binding with leather elaboration; old insect damage to inner paper lining. Text block loose within case. The text begins with a manuscript title page, lower 4 cm torn away. Interestingly this title does not match the printed version. The text is preceded by two tables, 6pp; an address to the reader - ‘A Chi Legge’ and three main sections, of about 80 leaves each followed by Osservazioni, folio 249-281. In all 282 folios or 562 pages. The manuscript is written in an easily legible professional hand, certainly a fair copy. No detailed comparison with either the first edition of 1676 or the revised second edition which this text resembles more closely has been attempted.

In this work De la Houssaye , a Secretary to the French Embassy to Venice, sought to analyse and critique the government of the Venetian Republic, focussing on the causes of its decadence. First published in French in 1676 the Storia drew a heated protest from the Venetian ambassador, Marcantonio Giustinian, later Doge of Venice. The author was sent to the Bastille and a second edition with supplement - apparently present in this manuscript - was published immediately after which drew fresh protestations, and was also suppressed. This lent the book such notoriety that it was republished in Italian in 1681 and thence reprinted all over Europe including an English version by Lord Falconbridge, son-in-law of Oliver Cromwell. This manuscript must post-date the first French first edition but it’s not clear where it fits in afterwards though it must be possible that it was a response to the attempted suppression of the book by the Venetian authorities.
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