Histoire Secrete de la Cour de Berlin, ou Correspondance d’un Voyageur Francois, depuis le mois de Juillet 1786 jusqu’au 19 Janvier 1787. Ouvrage Postume.
[Alencon : Malassis le Jeune] 1789. First Edition
2 vols, 8vo, [-]2, a8, A-V8 + [-]2, A-Z8, Aa4, , xvii, , 318 pp + , 376 pp, 1/2-titles in each volume, contemporary French half calf, sprinkled paper boards, spine in 6 compartments, red & green morocco labels, edges stained red, a good copy.
Mirabeau’s account gives many details concerning Freemasonry in Prussia, but more importantly he denounces the Prussian court as scandalous and corrupt, describes the King of Prussia as weak and over-emotional, and labels Prince Henry of Prussia, brother of Frederick the Great and a guest of the French court, as narrow-minded and incompetent. He claims, on the title-page, that the work is published posthumously, suggesting that it was published without the express consent or knowledge of the author. He therefore appears blameless and can deny ever writing the account. The work was censored and condemned to be publicly burnt by the hangman, thus causing even more people to read it, and ultimately increasing Mirabeau’s fame.
Reference: Cioranescu 18e. 45214 (misdated!) Barbier II 831
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