CORNEILLE, Pierre (1606-1684) – „Pulchérie. Comedie heroique“. Paris, Guillaume de Luyne, 1673.

Red morocco with gilting on the spine and on the inner covers; with gilt etching. Format: c. 16 x 9, 7 cm. [14] 72 [6] pp. Binding signed by binder Thibaron Echaubard (established in Paris in 1863). With some staining on the front cover, otherwise in excellent condition.


Pulchérie, one of the last plays by French dramatist Pierre Corneille (1606-1684), is a heroic comedy first performed on November 25, 1672 at the Théâtre du Marais in Paris. It is inspired by the life of Pulchérie, who was Byzantine empress from 450 to 453. Pulcherie, aged 15, takes the throne after her father, emperor Theodose, dies. She desires to marry a young Roman named Leon, whom she was in love with. After a longer debate and the Senate’s initial refusal to accept Leon, Martian – an older minister who was secretly in love with Pulcherie – steps in and convinces them to allow the marriage. When faced with the need to choose an emperor for the Roman people, Pulcherie states: „I am the Empress and I was Pulchérie“. She renounces to her love for Leon and offers the role of emperor to the kind and generous Martian. Martian’s daughter ends up marrying Leon. The background of the play consists in the struggle between love and ambition in Pulchérie’s heart. Performed in 1672 at the Théâtre du Marais, Pulchérie, without being precisely a failure, only obtained a success of esteem. (H. Clouard).

This extremely rare first edition, bound in a beautiful gilt Morocco leather binding „can be considered an accomplishment in its own right“ (Georges Forestier). Tchemerzine, II, 578 ; Picot, n°89 ; Le Petit, 190.

EUR 1.200,-