London: Spilsbury, 1798-1800. First Edition. Three quarter brown calf with speckled overlaid papers with gilt titles and decoration. Good. Item #27
It is because history is typically told by the winner that the writings of Mallet Du Pan are of such importance. He was a staunch royalist and wrote against the revolution in France providing us insight into the oft-neglected defense of the Aristocracy. Mallet Du Pan would be entrusted by King Louis XVI to travel to other countries on state business and attempt to secure support against the revolution. Mallet Du Pan was involved in many earlier publications as a journalist. He assisted in the production of Annales Politiques, he created Memoires Historiques, and produced the Mercure de France in the years before the start of the revolution. It wasn’t until his published anti-revolutionary pamphlets and attacks on Napoleon in 1792 that he was forced into exile. It was during this exile that Mallet Du Pan would issue the 36 numbers of the Mercure Britannique that are contained in these volumes. The brief series would be considered the pinnacle of his journalistic abilities and which would provide much needed income for his family. Mallet’s son would recall that “all our friends exerted themselves with the greatest zeal, and subscriptions came in rapidly. The Dukes of York, Kent and Gloucester, the ministers, and many persons of rank and of Parliamentary or literary distinction, were among the number. Most of the foreign ministers in England, and many distinguished persons on the Continent likewise subscribed, so that we soon exceeded 500 copies, and in the course of a few months reached 750, a large circulation for a foreign news- paper published in England." These five volumes were produced by his son in order to provide for the family after Mallet Du Pan’s death and in collaboration with William Spilsbury (fl. 1785-1808), master printer, in London. Son (and partner 1790-5) of Thomas Spilsbury. Partner of Charles Spilsbury 1799-1803. Address: 57 Snow Hill. The first printing was bound into four volumes and later printed in an both eight and apparently nine volume editions. This nine-volume set is unique in that it appears to be unrecorded not appearing in Hatin’s bibliography nor in auction records. Volume 1: 632p. Parte I: Nos. I, II, and III containing Un Essai Historique sur La Destruction De La Ligue et De LaLiberte Helvetiques. No. IV. 1798. -354p. Parte II: No. V. 1798. -632. Volume 2: 566p. Parte I: Nos. IX. 1798. -280p. Parte II. No. XIII-XVI. 1799. -566. Volume 3: 560p. Parte I: Nos. XVII-XXI. 1799. -284. Parte II: XXII-XXIV. 1799. -560. Volume 4: 538p. Parte I: Seconde Annee. Nos. XXV-XXVIII. 1799. -270. Parte II: Seconde Annee. Nos. XXIX-XXXII. 1799. -538. Volume 5: 278p. Seconde Annee. No. XXXIII-XXXVI. 1800. Each volume has wear to the head of the spine resulting in an almost complete loss to the leather edge. Bindings are solid and pages are clean. The spines have evidence of worming in a few areas but does appears isolated to the leather edges. Gild decorations are titles are bright and titles have the original hand inked year. Overall a good set that would be a centerpiece of any historical collection.