Paris: Printed…by Mrs Blageart, 1655. Second edition, as stated, though the first with Blageart’s imprint on the title-page. Includes the two preliminary and two final blanks. With device on title-page and several headpieces, tailpieces, and decorative initials throughout. Some rubbing to extremities and chipping to head and tail of spine. Front hinge somewhat tender. Ink ownership signatures (all eighteenth century) on front free endpaper of Mary, Viscountess Strangford; Nathaniel Darrell; and Mary Darrell. The Mary Darrell signature is repeated on title-page. Twentieth century bookplate (with engraving of Saint Augustine) laid in. Some light toning to edges and to endpapers, but overall a very good, clean copy of an uncommon book printed by a seventeenth century woman. Contemporary speckled calf, ruled, with four raised bands on spine. Twelvemo. [xix] pp., [2, blank] ff., pp. 1-181, 184-430, [2, blank] ff. Item #16729
Françoise Blageart (fl. 1633-1655) was a Parisian printer of at least eleven Catholic texts in English for an English recusant market. Blageart often employed false imprints, however, and the number of titles printed by her may be higher. At least seven of the books Blageart printed concerned Saint Augustine and the Augustinian Order, including a translation of Augustine’s Confessions by Sir Tobie Matthew in 1638 (Allison and Rogers, 535) and an abridged version of that translation in the same year (536). She was married to Jérome Blageart, a linguist and scholar of Arabic who also printed at least one book: Discours hapned betwene an hermite called Nicephorus & a yong lover called Tristan, a translation of Jean-Pierre Camus published in 1630. Blageart’s husband seems to have died sometime between 1630 and 1633, as her imprint appeared on a text as “the widow Blageart” for the first time in an English translation of Camus under the title The spirituall director disinteressed in 1633. The last two works known to have been printed by Blageart are the present book and Schism dis-arm’d of the defensive weapons, both bearing the date 1655.
Wing, A4212. Allison and Rogers, The Contemporary Printed Literature of the English Counter-Reformation. Smith, Grossly Material Things: Women and Book Production in Early Modern England, p. 163.