Paris: Chez Jean Camusat, 1637. Item #03487
Widely Seen As The First Western Autobiography Ever Written
The Rare First Edition Translated from Latin into French by René de Seriziers
Only One Copy Located in Libraries Worldwide
AUGUSTINE of HIPPO, Saint. SERIZIERS, R.P., translator. Les Confessions de Saint Augustin. Traduites par le S.P. Paris: Jean Camusat, 1637.
First edition of this translation from the Latin into French, by René de Seriziers (1603-1662), a Jesuit.
Small square octavo (9 3/4 x 7 1/8 inches; 247 x 181 mm.). [xvi], 524, pp. [12, table of contents] pp.
Page 507 mis-numbered as 497. With a fine vignette on title-page and Each of the thirteen books with a fine woodcut headpiece and tailpiece. Title-page with early ink inscription "Collegu Rotomaoensis Sociatatis Jesu 1645".
Original full vellum, lettered in manuscript on spine. Some light wear and soiling but still an excellent and totally original, untouched example. With the engraved bookplate of Henry Cabot Lodge on front paste-down and also the small oval bookplate of Derby School on verso of front endpaper.
This first edition not found in any of the standard reference works and only one copy located in libraries worldwide at the Institut Catholique de Paris. No copies have appeared at auction for the past forty years. A second edition was published in 1639.
Augustine of Hippo, Latin: Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis; 13 November 354 – 28 August 430), also known as Saint Augustine or Saint Austin, was an early Christian theologian and philosopher whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. He was the bishop of Hippo Regius (modern-day Annaba, Algeria), located in Numidia (Roman province of Africa). He is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers in Western Christianity for his writings in the Patristic Era. Among his most important works are City of God and Confessions.
Confessions (Latin: Confessiones) is the name of an autobiographical work, consisting of 13 books, by St. Augustine of Hippo, written in Latin between 397 and 400 AD. Modern English translations of it are sometimes published under the title The Confessions of St. Augustine in order to distinguish the book from other books with similar titles. Its original title was Confessions in Thirteen Books, and it was composed to be read out loud with each book being a complete unit.
The work outlines Augustine's sinful youth and his conversion to Christianity. It is widely seen as the first Western autobiography nebridiusever written, and was an influential model for Christian writers throughout the following 1,000 years, through the Middle Ages. It is not a complete autobiography, as it was written in his early 40s, and he lived long afterwards, producing another important work City of God. It does, nonetheless, provide an unbroken record of his development of thought and is the most complete record of any single person from the 4th and 5th centuries. It is a significant theological work, featuring spiritual meditations and insights.
In the work Saint Augustine writes about how much he regrets having led a sinful and immoral life. He discusses his regrets for following the Manichaean religion and believing in astrology. He writes about Saint Nebridius's role in helping to persuade him that astrology was not only incorrect but evil, and Saint Ambrose's role in his conversion to Christianity. The first nine books are autobiographical and the last four are commentary. He shows intense sorrow for his sexual sins, and writes on the importance of sexual morality. The books were written as prayers to God, thus the title, based on the Psalms of David; and it begins with "For Thou hast made us for Thyself and our hearts are restless till they rest in Thee." The work is thought to be divisible into books which symbolize various aspects of the Trinity and trinitarian belief.
Henry Cabot Lodge (1850-1924) was an American Republican Senator and historian from Massachusetts. A PhD in history from Harvard, he was a long-time friend and confidant of Theodore Roosevelt. Lodge had the role (but not the official title) of the first Senate Majority Leader. He is best known for his positions on foreign policy, especially his battle with President Woodrow Wilson in 1919 over the Treaty of Versailles. Lodge demanded Congressional control of declarations of war; Wilson refused and blocked Lodge's move to ratify the treaty with reservations. As a result, the United States never joined the League of Nations.
Sommervogel, 1891 (citing only the 'Seconde édition' of 1639)
La Bédoyère. Catalogue des Livres Rares et Précieux Manuscrits, 154 (citing only the 'Seconde édition' of 1639)
Dauze, Index Biblio-Iconographique, vol. 2, p. 43 (citing only the 'Seconde édition' of 1639).