Title: L'histoire Des Imaginations Extravagantes De Monsieur Oufle, 1754
Author: Laurent Bourdelon
Publisher: Chez Duchesne, Paris
Condition: Very Good
A mid 18th century edition of Bourdelon’s parodical supernatural tale, L'histoire Des Imaginations Extravagantes De Monsieur Oufle, first published in 1710. As the 18th century began and belief in magic and the supernatural slowly began to decline, some saw this as an opportunity to lampoon and ridicule the notions which once kept many in fear. Bourdelon’s tale serves as a landmark in the satire of these subjects. The main character is the aptly named Monsieur Oufle, a highly superstitious and imaginative bourgeois merchant. Throughout this novel, he falls into several comical episodes; from convincing himself that he is a werewolf, attempting to fulfill his horoscope by seducing others, and envisioning himself to be tormented by various ghosts, demons, and sorcerers. While his family tries their best to bring him back from his fantastic imagination, Monsieur Oufle stubbornly holds to his convictions, unlikely though they may be. His beliefs are bolstered by his vast library of works on the occult sciences and demonology. Bordelon even goes so far to provide a comprehensive 9-page catalog of his fictional library, including famous works such as the Malleus Malleficarum, The History of Doctor Faust, the Clavicles of Solomon, and much more.
There are 6 illustrations to the first volume, and 4 to the second, the final illustration being a large folding plate depicting the Witch’s Sabbath with the Devil seated at the centre.
Five parts finely bound into two volumes in 12mo, XII+151+VI+144+IV+164, IV+172+IV+204 pages
On note of condition, these volumes are in very good shape, with minor wear and rubbing to the boards. There is a minor tear to the title page of part 5, with minor foxing and staining throughout.