[Antoine Destutt de Tracy, French philosopher.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Dustutt-Tracy') to the French printer Firmin Didot, discussing the various editions of du Val's Aristotle with a view to obtaining a copy of one.

Author: 
Antoine Louis Claude, Comte Destutt de Tracy (1754-1836), French philosopher, politician, soldier, who coined the term 'ideology', admired by Jefferson [Firmin Didot (1764-1836), French printer]
Publication details: 
'A Anteuil ce 25 floreal an 11'. [i.e. 15 May 1803]
£450.00
SKU: 22285

An interesting letter, casting light on bibliographic and book trade practices in Consulate Paris. 2pp, 12mo. Forty-two lines of closely-written text on the first leaf of a bifolium, the recto of the second leaf being addressed 'Au Citoyen Firmin Didot | Rue du Regard | A Paris'. In good condition, lightly aged, with white paper stub of mount adhering to second leaf. 'L'Aristote' is written in the left-hand margin of the first page, and he begins by giving the results of the collation of the various editions of du Val's Aristotle, finding that 'l'edition de 1619 et celle de 1629 sont la meme et la plus belle; et que celle de 1639 inferieure pour l'execution est la Seule qui contienne les dernieres additions de du Val – dont je suis curieux'. He notes the printers of the three editions. In the light of his discoveries, he discusses the purchases of the 1639 edition from 'la personne que vous charges de ces commission', asking him 'de vouloir bien recompenser pour moi cet agent, car voila bien des peines que je luie donne et bien des emplettes difficiles et [?] qu'il fait pour moi et si bon marche qu'il est impossible qu'il y ait le moindre benefice, ce qu n'est pas juste'. A long postscript concerns 'notre bon ami Cabani' and his 'pauvre camarade [Heimebart?]' In a second postscript he states that he has had to abandon his intention of calling on Didot for 'l'exemplaire en question' as he is 'un peu souffrant'.