Ad 1: Londres (i.e. London). Ad 2: (i.e. Paris): Ad 1: De l'Imprimerie de Thomas Spilsbury, Snowhill, et se trouve a Bruxelles chez B. Le Francq. Ad 2: s.n., 1783. First Edition. Together 3 items. Ad 1: 8vo. Added engraved portrait of the author by Mariage ("Il brule, mais il eclaire") affixed to verso of front binder's leaf + requisite engraved frontispiece (unsigned) + [iv], 62, 51-160 pp. (i.e. a total of 172 pages), COMPLETE. Early 20th-century marbled boards, beige morocco lettering piece. Ad 2: THE ACTUAL COPPER PLATE from which the frontispiece of this edition was printed (190 x 110). Ad 3: 8vo. 127 pp. No frontispiece as issued. Original printed wrappers, edges untrimmed. Item #2909
Highly interesting ensemble printed in "London" (i.e. Paris), which is distinguished the accompaniment of THE ACTUAL COPPER PLATE of the famous frontispiece in the first volume, which depicts Louis XVI son a pedestal in front of the ruins of the Bastille, with legend below: "Soyez libre: vivez." Linguet's "Memoires" are described by Levy as "a rebellious survivor's testimony about his living death under an absolute despotism" (D.G. Levy, The ideas and careers of Simon Nicolas Henri Linguet, 1980, p. 207).
The significance of this work is attested by the fact that numerous editions of this famous work appeared not only in Paris but elsewhere on the Continent (Brussels, Hamburg, and Berne). There was one English edition, which was in fact printed for G. Kearsly for T. Spilsbury. The English title is instructive: "Memoirs of the Bastille. Containing a full exposition of the mysterious policy and despotic oppression of the French government, In the Interior Administration of that State-Prison. Interspersed with a Variety of Curious Anecdotes. Translated from the French of the celebrated Mr. Linguet, Who was Imprisoned there From September 1780, to May 1782."
Ad 1: Curiously, on p. [iv] the printer apologizes for a "singular misunderstanding during the course of printing" ("une meprise singuliere arrivee dans le cours de l'impression") and proceeds to give an erroneous collation; the text is nonetheless complete, in spite of mispagination. According to ESTC N35192, this edition is "probably printed in Brussels").
Ad 2: Wrappers worn and somewhat foxed, otherwise in outstanding original state, completely unsophisticated. The title-page bears contemporary manuscript annotations identifying Linguet as the author, and recording Linguet's execution by guillotine on the 27th of June 1794. NOT IN ESTC, although we have located copies at Princeton, Kent State, Universite Laval, and possibly the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
REFERENCES: Tourneux, III, 12318c. Martin and Walter, III, 21597.