1698 Letters of Cardinal D'Ossat

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Language French

Written by Cardinal D'Ossat

Published by chez Jean Boudot a Paris, 1698



Collection of outstanding diplomatic letters by the Cardinal D'Ossat (1537-1604) French Ambassador to the Holy See.


Volume 1 of 2 only. Large quarto in original leather binding. Preceded by a life of the Cardinal written by Amelot de La Houssaye. Illustrated with a beautiful full-page portrait engraving of the illustrious Cardinal D'Ossat.

Half-title page as well as pictorial title-page. Exquisite engraved initial at beginning of "Vie Du Cardinal D'Ossat." Generally considered the best edition of this famous work of Catholic policy and foreign diplomacy. Corrected on the original manuscript, it was significantly increased. With historical & political notes by M. Amelot de la Houssaie.


Published in 1698, Paris chez Jean Boudot, rue Saint Jacques, au Soleil d'or, pres de S. Severin. Avec privilege du roy. Also contains list of errata, 5 raised spine bands. Spine compartments decorated with golden gilt ornaments. Leather of board edges decorated with gold-gilt dentelle. 


These letters have long been considered a model for diplomats, owing not only to the importance of the questions which they treat, but especially to the talent for exposition which Ossat displays in them.


L'Académie Française inscribed Ossat among the 'dead authors who have written the French language most purely', and Lord Chesterfield is known to have wrote to his son that the 'simplicity and clearness of Cardinal d'Ossat's letters show how business letters should be written.'


Cardinal of Ossat  accompanied Paul de Foix in its embassies in Rome (1573-1581), and managed the French business at the latter's death until the arrival of Jean Vivonne in 1584; he then entered as Secretary of the House of Cardinal d'Este; residing at Rome as Officer Lorraine of Queen Louise, widow of Henry III, it was Cardinal D'Ossat who negotiated the abjuration of Henry IV. An excellent example of the 1st volume of this very rare edition of an historic literary work. 

CONDITION: Good condition; leather boards have scuffing & scratches; both front & back covers with edge wear and bumped corners; hinges secure with separation starting at top most front seam (as pictured); indication of a tiny worm-hole in the spine; crown of spine deteriorated; some pages with aged yellowing and scattered foxing, as well as several darkened pages; a small, what appears to be ink, stain, on the outer edge of the last section of 100 pages p.529 onwards (as pictured).

BOOK MEASUREMENTS:  25.3 cm X 20.4 cm (4.5 cm thick)

Total Length: 626 pages