Challe, Robert (1659-1721) Les Illustres Françoises Histoires Veritables.
The Hague: Chez Abraham de Hondt, 1715.
Two 12mo volumes, earliest edition located is 1713, same publisher; title pages printed in red and black, bound in uniform contemporary speckled calf, spines tooled in gilt, with labels, some chips at head and tail, bindings dry; ex libris Gower Earl Gower, with his engraved armorial bookplates inside both front boards and blind-tooled emblem of the Order of the Garter on both boards; 6 1/4 x 3 1/2 in. (2)
Rare at auction, one copy of this edition listed in Worldcat.
Challe's very popular libertine novel consists of interlocking stories of romance between sets of lovers. A framed narrative, with an assemblage of differing voices, it presents an interesting picture of French culture's take on women in in this period. "[Les Illustres Françoises] features exceptional heroines whose passions are told in seven tender and violent stories, subtly unified by the bonds forged between heroes, narrators and listeners." (cf. Geneviève Artigas Menant's Robert Challe au Carrefour des Continents et des Cultures, Paris: Hermann, 2013.)