First edition of Le Comte’s account from when he served as a missionary in China from 1687 to 1692. The work contains letters of members of French court circles dealing with his travels in China, and observations on Chinese civilization. The second volume consists largely of discussions on Chinese popular religion and missionary activities. Although intended to bolster the Jesuit position in the Rites Controversy, it quickly became a focus of dispute, and Refutations were written by the Jesuits’ opponents and the book was eventually censored. Despite the opposition it was translated into several other languages and frequently reprinted.
Two volumes in 1, 12mo. 20 engraved plates (2 folding), and one folding table. Contemporary speckled calf, spines gilt neat repairs to joints and extremities, an attractive set.
Provenance: Monastere de la visitation Ste. Marie de Meaux (contemporary inscription on front pastedowns); Jean Baptiste Plé (later ownership inscription on rear flyleaf of first volume: “Ce présent livres apartien a moy Jean Baptiste Plé je prie ceux ou celle qui le trouverron deme le rapporté il aurron recompanse dunne bouttel de vin–le second de la republique francoise 1793”).
Cioranescu XVII, 41454; Cordier Sinica I, 39; De Backer & Sommervogel II, 1356; Quérard V, p. 58, Streit V: 2714. This edition not in Lust.
Stock ID: 99915