Interrogation. Le Veritable manifeste.
First editions. Jacqueline D'Escoman, demoiselle d'honneur to Marie de' Medici at the court of Henri IV, had accused Henriette d'Entragues, the marquise de Verneuil, and Jean Louis de Nogaret de La Valette, the duc d'Épernon, of conspiring to influence François Ravaillac to assassinate the king. Ravaillac, a gullible, lapsed Jesuit zealot, succeeded in his regicidal plans on 14 May 1610. He was quickly captured. Even under excessive torture, Ravaillac never named conspirators, though he did state that he'd been "influenced" by people who'd told him that the violent demise of Henri—who was viewed with harsh suspicion by both Protestants and Catholics—would be welcomed and celebrated by the world at large. This most unusual Sammelband comprises two texts. The first is the official interrogation and statement of D'Escoman, who claimed she had tried to warn Henri and Marie of the conspiracy, leaving out details regarding the sentiments of the duc and marquise toward the regency that were so abominable …que je les tairay de peur de faire rougir le papier ("…that I'd best keep them quiet for fear of making the paper blush.") The duc and marquise were tried and acquitted; D'Escoman spent the rest of her life in prison, though her official crime was abandonment of a child. The second text is an anonymous argument in favor of D'Escoman's assertion that a conspiracy was indeed afoot, with additional rumors of affairs, subplots, and variable salacious court intrigues. An important pair of contemporary witnesses to the still-mysterious scheme to assassinate Henri IV, who'd survived seventeen previous attempts on his life. Two copies of the first work found in American libraries (BYU and U. Michigan), and one of the second (BYU).
Two works in octavo, 163 x 100 x 5 mm (binding), 161 x 98 x 3 mm (text block). I: A-B4, 16 pp.; II: A4, B2, 3-14 pp. Crushed maroon morocco, titled in gilt on spine (Duru, 1848), AEG. Upper joint expertly reinforced, covers a bit worn and soiled, extremities bumped. Interior: Good.
I: Lindsay & Neu 3667. II: Lindsay & Neu 3668 (var.).
Full titles: INTERROGATION | ET DECLARATION | DE MADAMOISELLE | Decoman || M. DC. XVI. [S.l., s.n., 1616]. Bound with: [ANON.] [D'ESCOMAN, Jacqueline de Voyer.] [Caption title, A1r]: LE VERITABLE | Manifeſte, ſur la Mort de Henry | le Grand, par la Damoyſelle | D'ecoman. 1616.