Very Good. Item #6195
Amsterdam: Chez Jean Frédéric Bernard, 1715. 12mo; Vol I Tome I [xiv] + 352pp + 10pp of bound-in hand-transcribed text; Vol II Tome II [ii] + 156pp; Vol II Tome III [xxviii] + 200pp. Vol I frontis. engraved by Bernard Picart; title pages of both volumes have engraved allegorical vignettes; ornamental head- and tail-pieces throughout both volumes. Contemporary calf with six raised bands on spine. Red leather spine labels with gilt lettering and ornamentation between bands; panel edges tooled in gilt. All panels with blind-tooled double ruled border near edges. French curl marbled endpapers. Text block stained red on all edges. Entirely in French with the exception of two internal duplicative title pages in Latin for the contents of Tomes II and III.
Both bindings chafed with some scrapes. Hinges of both volumes flaking but holding. Vol I spine crown and foot slightly eroded. Vol II back panel shows remains of water stain on left half but endpapers and textblock unaffected. Vol II spine has 1" of loss at crown; 2" of loss at foot, and leather backing is splitting off spine but still attached at left vertical edge.
Both volumes show some curiosities of binding. The title page of Vol I Tome I refers principally to the contents of Vol II Tomes II and III. The final 10 pages of Vol I Tome I have been written out in an elegant hand, appropriately paginated, and bound in to replace or complete the final few pages of text for the Pratique du Théâtre. The title page of Vol II refers solely to the contents of Tome II, omitting any mention of the contents of Tome III.
The Abbé d’Aubignac (1604-1676) is now more widely recognized by his ecclesiastical title than by his personal name. He was the leading theoretician and journalist of the early 18th century theater in France, and remains crucial in theater studies as a bridge between the Italo-centric dramatic renewal of the Renaissance and the more general and regularized European practices of the later 18th and 19th centuries. A tutor to Richelieu's nephew, and a very worldly socialite, he seems to have spent more time in front of the proscenium than in front of the altar. The Harold Clurman of his age, pour ainsi dire.