Only edition of a kind of speculum principum comprised of instructive essays based on Plutrach's Lives, composed by the historian Bernard du Haillan. The author was a student of Dorat, and a friend of Boiastuau and Montaigne. In spite of a reportedly disagreeable personality and a tendency to intellectual vanity, Charles IX liked him, and appointed him royal historiographer and court genealogist. He was not so well liked, however, by the historiographer who preceded him, Étienne Pasquier, who complained bitterly of a rampant plagiarist of his work, though he never explicitly named du Haillan as the perpetrator. There is not much room for plagiary in the Recueil d'advis, since it is based largely on Plutarch, and announced on the title page as such. Du Haillan summarizes the essential points of the 48 Greek and Roman figures in Parallel Lives in 245 short essays, each focused on a certain virtue, with the whole representing a sort of mirror for princes, or at least this was du Haillan's goal, as stated in the dedication to his friend, Pierre Fourget, Secretary of Finance to Henri III. Du Haillan's reputed vanity seems to be on display in this dedication, as he boasts of having "spent a few hours" rereading the great works of the Greeks and Romans in preparation for this book, before settling on Plutarch as the ideal model. Du Haillan's name was revived at the dawn of the French Revolution as a champion of old French political values, but he has been largely forgotten since. A peculiar book, interesting as an early French translation of certain lines of Plutarch, though just as compelling as a guide for young statesmen in the turbulent, early years of Henri III's France.
Quarto, 223 x 168 x 14 mm (binding), 219 x 165 x 12 mm (text block). a-s4 t2 =74 ff. Contemporary limp vellum, faintly titled in ink on spine. Covers soiled; epidemûres; ties wanting. Interior: Leaves toned; minor occasional spotting. A good, unsophisticated copy in original condition.
Provenance: Custodial remarks in ink to title by Luc de Valimbert, one dated 1582. De Valimbert was municipal treasurer at Besançon in the 1570s and 1580s. A number of books from his library have come down to us. This one was acquired by W. S. Cotter from Bruce McKittrick, 2023.
Brunet II, col. 1612; Bernard, Christophe, Un historiographe politique de la Renaissance. Bernard de Girard, sieur du Haillan, (Masters thesis, University of Tours, 2001.)
Paris: l'Huillier, 1578.