Charles Sorel: Récreations galantes contenant Traité de la Phisionomie, L’Explication des Songes physiognomonie . Paris, Estienne Loyson, 1671.
Rare first edition of this work which deals with board games, in use in the salons of the Grand Siècle published anonymously, attributed to Charles Sorel, the author of the famous “La Maison des jeux”, the first work of its kind (about literary games) published in 1642.
Divided into 6 parts, including, among others: Traité de la Phisionomie, L’Explication des Songes, Le Passe temps de plusieurs Jeux, Quelques énigmes en prose, Le Blazon des couleurs sur les livrées & faveurs…
Very little is known of Charles Sorel’s life except that in 1635 he was historiographer of France. He wrote on science, history and religion, but is only remembered for his novels. He tried to destroy the vogue for the pastoral romances by writing a novel of adventure, the Histoire comique de Francion (first edition in seven volumes, 1623; second edition in twelve volumes, 1633). The episodical adventures of Francion found many readers, who nevertheless kept their admiration for Honoré d’Urfé’s L’Astrée, which it was intended to ridicule.
Sorel decided to make his intention unmistakable, and in Le Berger extravagant (3 vols, 1627) he wrote a burlesque, in which a Parisian shop-boy, his head turned by sentiment, chooses an unprepossessing mistress and starts life as a shepherd with a dozen sheep on the banks of the Seine. Sorel did not succeed in founding the novel of character, and what he accomplished was more in the direction of farce, but he struck a shrewd blow at heroic romances.
Period brown full calfskin binding.
Inside somewhat soiled, slightly yellowed, a fragment cut out of the leaf of pages 241-242, it has been restored, see photos.
15,5 x 9,5 cm.