Books with Royal Bookplates
Louis XVI (1754-1793) assumed the title "King of France and Navarre" in 1774. In 1791, he received the title of "King of the French" until 1792. Louis XVI was the son of Louis de France, inherited the royal throne from his grandfather, Louis XV. During the Revolution of 1791, he tried to escape from France, but was detained. Later he sworn by the constitution. In 1792, he was arrested, was declared guilty of conspiracy and sentenced to death. Louis XVI was executed by guillotine on 21 January 1793.
1) Hotman, François (1524-1590).
Brutum fulmen papae Sixti V. adversus Henricum sereniss. regem Navarrae, & illustrissimum Henricum Borbonium, principem Condaeum. Una cum protestatione multiplicis nullitatis quarta editio. Cui, praeter alia quam plurima, subiuncta est disputatio Roberti Bellarminij Societatis Iesu, De primatu episcopi Rom. & ad eam responsio. Item, Alciati, Cuiatii, & Hotomani coniecturae de falsitate L inter claras, 8. C. de Summ. Trinit. Cum synopsi & indice pernecessario. — [S.l. : s.n., 1586?].
2) Paulus V (Pope, 1552-1621).
Controversiae memorabilis inter Paulum V. Pontificem Max. & Venetos : De excommunicatione contra eosdem Venetos Romae promulgatae XVII. Aprilis anno MDCVI. acta et scripta varia : Summa fide ex Italico in Latinum sermonem conversa, prout Romae & Venetiis excusa prodierunt. — in Villa Sanvincentiana : apud Paulum Marcellum, 1607.
8o (100 x 165 mm). A red marocain binding with gold embossing. Presumably Louis XVI's super ex libris — the King's coat of arms is placed on the top cover (is established by: GRUEL L. Manuel historique et bibliographique de l'amateur de reliures. T. 2. P. 133).
Shelf mark: 220.127.116.11-27
Charron, Pierre (1541-1603).
Les trois veritez contre tovs athees, idolatres, iuifs, mahumetans, heretiques et schismatiques. Le tout traicté en trois liures. Avec l’Indice des principales matieres. Reueu, corrigé, & augme[n]té de nouueau. — Paris : chez Estienne Vallet, 1595.
8o (80 x 140 mm). A red marocain binding with gold embossing. Presumably Louis XVI's super ex libris — the King's coat of arms is placed on the top cover (is established by: GRUEL L. Manuel historique et bibliographique de l'amateur de reliures. T. 2. P. 133).
Shelf mark: 18.104.22.168
The first and second books are collections of theological treatises and are interesting not so much by their content as by bindings. They have the same super ex librises with the crowned fleurs-de-lis, but such a heraldic sign is not like the usual royal coat of arms: instead of two orders of the Holy Spirit and St. Louis, modest laurel branches are depicted around the shield. Such an unusual super-exlibris allows us to determine the time of appearance of these books in the King's library with an accuracy to the year. The fact is that after the beginning of the French Revolution, the king spent almost two years in Paris and continued to be considered the ruler of France, although he had no real power.
In the summer of 1791, Louis and his family attempted to escape from the revolution-ridden country, fearing for their lives. On the way the sovereign was identified, was returned to the capital and, on 11 September, he was forced to take the constitutional oath. A year later, the monarchy was overthrown, Louis was arrested on charges of high treason and subsequently executed. However, for twelve months, Louis XVI ruled as the constitutional monarch of France. It was during this period that his coat of arms became a simple shield with the three crowned fleurs-de-lis, framed by laurel branches. Unlike the arms of the previous Bourbon kings, this heraldic sign symbolized that the status of the king changed from the sovereign of his kingdom to an official who had received a crown from citizens for his service for the benefit of his homeland. Thus, it can be argued that the presented books were bound between September 1791 and September 1792.
Sacre et couronnement de Louis XVI, roi de France et de Navarre a Rheims le 11. juin 1775. Précédé de Recherches sur le sacre des rois de France depuis Clovis jusqu'a Louis XV; et suivi d'un Journal historique de ce qui c'est passé a cette auguste cérémonie. Enrichi d'un très-grand nombre de figures en taille-douce gravées par le Sieur Patas, avec leurs explications. — A Paris : chez Vente et chez Patas imprimé par Maillet, 1775.
8° (140 х 22 mm). A red marocain binding with gold embossing. Louis XIV's super ex libris — the King's coat of arms is placed on the front cover, the fleurs-de-lis are on the spine (is established by: OHR, pl. 2496, no.9).
Provenance: Hugon du Prat de Masgontiere, Pierre (1744–post 1815) (owner's record); Lormeau, Louis-André de (owner's record).
Shelf mark: 32.4a.5.75
The luxurious edition of the Coronation of Louis XVI with many engravings, in a red marocain binding with Louis XIV's bookplate with gold embossing. According to archival documents, the Public Library acquired the book in 1925 together with the collection of someone from the noble family of Rat'kov-Rozhnov, perhaps Ilya Vladimirovich. Illustrations from this edition became a model for the organizers of the coronation of Charles X, the last French king whose coronation was conducted in 1825 by all medieval canons. This caused acrid remarks among the liberal public: according to tradition, the king leaving the Reims cathedral after his coronation laid his hands on scrofulous children, which, as they believed, healed them from the illness. In the 19th century., such a procedure, of course, contradicted the scientific understanding of the treatment of this disease, and therefore the king's decision to carefully follow the ritual met with sarcastic comments of opposition-minded citizens.
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616).
Shakespeare traduit de l'anglois, dédié au roi. — A Paris : chez la veuve Duchesne Musier, fils Nyon ..., 1776-1783. — 19 vols.
4° (200 х 256 mm). The brown leather binding with gold embossing. Louis XVI's super ex libris — the King's coat of arms is placed on the front and back covers, his monogram is on the spine (is established by: OHR, pl. 2494, no.10, 21).
Shelf mark: 22.214.171.124
Unfortunately, the twenty-volume edition of Shakespeare, kept in the NLR, is incomplete — it lacks the first volume. Although the Royal Library in Paris possessed a copy of Shakespeare's folio, he was not widely known in France until the 1930s of the 18th century. Initially, interest in the English playwright was aroused due to Voltaire's prose translations of some Shakespeare's plays. The translation of Pierre Le Tourneur (1736-1788), assisted by Jean Fontaine-Malherbe (1740-1780) and Jacques de Catuélan (1733-1790), is noteworthy in several respects. This is the first complete translation of Shakespeare's plays into French. Le Tourneur dedicated his translation to King Louis XVI and personally presented the first two volumes of his work to the royal family, for which he received royal approval and patronage. This contributed to a broad interest in Le Tourneur's works which remained popular until the middle of the 19th century.