Publisher: La Haye: Chez Henri van Bulderen, Marchand Libraire, dansle Pooten, à l'Enseigne de Mezeray, 1692.
Edition: Second edition; first published in 1691, also in The Hague.
Condition: Contemporary ink annotations on the verso and recto of the first title-page; later faint round purple library stamp also on the first title-page, with a release stamp ("freigegeben") over it; very good copy.
Book ID: 28233
Description3 vols in 1, 12mo, 19th century speckled tan paper boards, brown leather spine label, gilt lettering. Vignette title-pages and head- and tailpieces in the text.
CommentsThe popular and colorful Relation du Voyage d’Espagne by Marie-Catherine Aulnoy (1650-1705), also known as Countess d'Aulnoy, the prolific French author of fairy tales, stories and fanciful histories. Relation du Voyage, a sequel to her Mémories de la Cour d’Espange (1690) was first published in 1691 and quickly translated into English, where it remained in print for decades. It recounts in 15 letters Countess d’Aulnoy's adventures in Spain and with the Spanish court, where it has been romantically suggested that she was a spy for France. Others maintained that her Spanish narratives were completely fabricated, and were another example of her fanciful histories. But her believers, including Sainte-Beuve, Ticknor and Taine, persisted and in some scholarly circles today her narratives are considered at least partially creditable. Countess d’Aulnoy did indeed travel, but the facts she relates about Spain do not hold up to scrutiny. Though fiction or intentional deception, her Relation du Voyage d'Espagne is one of the earliest published travel narratives by a woman, and it was popular. In 1695, d’Aulnoy published a similar work about the English court, Mémoires de la cour d'Angleterre. See Percy Adams, Travelers & Travel Liars (1962), pages 97-100.