L'Agriculture: Poëme. Seconde édition.

[Place of publication not identified: publisher not identified, 1774.

Octavo (21 x 14 cm.), 259, pages. Illustrated with woodcut vignettes. Stated “Seconde edition”. Not to be confused with the publication of the same year, also styled “Seconde edition”, but issued in an entirely different setting by l’Imprimerie Royale, with different pagination and with eight plates of engravings. This current edition has no identified place of publication or publisher. While both of these 1774 editions state "Seconde Edition" on the title page, the existence of a first edition remains a mystery to this cataloguer. ~ A vast didactic poem on life in the countryside, in six songs. The poet, Pierre-Fulcrand de Rosset (born in Montpellier in 1708) starts with eighty pages on the Georgics. The first of the six songs considers the foundations of agriculture and breeding. The second is devoted to the vine, from Noah to the modern Carnival. Rosset's Agriculture appeared twenty years before Delille's poem on the same subject. Robert Sabatier, the historian of French poetry, found Rosset’s poetry a bit boring, but one can find worse amidst the poetry of 18th century France. Perhaps Rosset’s Agriculture is best read a few pages at time, allowing one to sample the bucolic Alexandrines of this Virgil of the Languedoc. An unopened copy, in printer’s binding, with endpapers made from scraps of two works: The front endpapers contain scraps a title page from the second volume of Recueil des Oeuvres de Madame Du Boccage (Lyon: Les Freres Perisse, 1770. Three volumes). The rear endpapers are made of scrap from the second work, which remains yet unidentified. It too was published in Lyons, but at a later date, as text indicates it was placed on deposit at the Bibliotheque Imperiale. The later date calls into question employment of the wrappers to pin down the place of publication of Agriculture, but the proximity of Lyons to the Occitan which inspired Rosset’s work is a powerful argument in and of itself. Much scarcer than the edition published the same year by l’Imprimerie Royale. [OCLC locates seven copies of this edition, none in the US (Lille, ULB Sachsen Anhalt Zentrale, Zentralbibliothek Zurich, Kantonsbibliothek Graubunden, National Libr. of Sweden, U. Manchester, Biblioteca Nacional de Espana); LOC Rosenwald 1674; Kress 11119; Higgs, Bibl. of Economics 5922]. $600.

Price: $600.00