[FÉNELON, François de Salignac de la Mothe (1651-1715)]. The Archbishop of Cambray’s Dissertation on Pure Love, with an Account of the Life and Writings of the Lady…
[FÉNELON, François de Salignac de la Mothe (1651-1715)]. The Archbishop of Cambray’s Dissertation on Pure Love, with an Account of the Life and Writings of the Lady… Germantown, PA: Christopher Sowr, 1750.
8vo., (7 3/8 x 4 5/8 inches). (A bit browned throughout). Contemporary full brown sheep, the spine in six compartments separated by five raised bands (extremities a bit worn with loss).
Provenance: Contemporary manuscript ownership inscription dated 1762 to flyleaf. Doyle, sale 13BP04, 2013, Lot 311.
Second Pennsylvania edition, third edition overall, first published in London in 1735 and first published in Pennsylvania in 1738. Fénelon was a French Roman Catholic archbishop, theologian, poet and writer. He is remembered primarily as the author of “The Adventures of Telemachus,” first published in 1699. The “Lady” referred to in the title is Jeanne-Marie Bouvier de la Motte-Guyon, commonly known as Madame Guyon, a French mystic and one of the key advocates of Quietism, although she never called herself a Quietist. Quietism was considered heretical by the Roman Catholic Church, and she was imprisoned from 1695 to 1703 after publishing a book on the topic, “A Short and Easy Method of Prayer.” Fénelon first met Madame Guyon in 1688, and soon became one of her most well-known disciples.
“In fact, so popular among the Quakers were both Fénelon and Guyon, that their texts were repeatedly translated and published throughout Pennsylvania during both the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In 1738, William Bradford published excerpts from Fénelon’s theological works, as well as the autobiography of Madame Guyon in a work entitled ‘The Archbishop of Cambray’s Dissertation on Pure Love, with an account of the Life and Writings of the Lady, for whose sake the Archbishop was banished from the Court.’ This was re-published by Christopher Sauer, again in Pennsylvania, in 1750 [as here]. In this reprint Guyon was characterized as ‘a martyr to Catholic intolerance, a Protestant in disguise, or an example of inner perfection…’ Numerous German translations of Guyon and Fénelon’s work were also published by Pennsylvania Quakers, such as Johann Kayser and Gerhard Teersteegen, during the same period” (Karen Pagani, “Forgiveness and the Age of Reason,” p. 308). Evans 6498. Hildeburn 1174. ESTC W19461.