L'UNIVERS, poëme en prose, en douze chants; suivi de notes et d’observations sur le système de Newton et la théorie physique de la terre. Orné de figures d’après Raphael, le Poussin, Fuesly, le Barbier; avec vignettes d’après Monnet et Lejeune. A Paris, Chez Boiste ... Agasse ... Deterville ... An IX
. 8vo, pp. xii, 478; with engraved frontispiece, and five engraved plates; without the binder’s leaf at end, seemingly excised; front free end paper somewhat loose; aside from some occasional light spotting and soiling, clean and crisp; with a couple of ownership inscriptions on front free end paper, though illegible; First edition of this uncommon and most attractively illustrated work anonymously published by Victoire Claude Pierre Boiste (1765-1824). Boiste hopes that his work will "peindre l'Univers considéré sous les quatre grands points de vue, physique, moral, politique et religieux". ‘The notes on Newton begin on page 343. According to Barbier, only the first edition of 1801 was published anonymously, whereas the reprints of 1802 and 1805 bear the name of the author, Boiste. Not in Gray.’ (Babson). These final notes provide observations on the various natural phenomena introduced, and discuss not only the work of Newton, but other leading figures such as Pallas, Buffon, Whiston and Burnet. The work is adorned with six striking classically inspired engravings, after Raphael, le Poussin, Fuesly, le Barbier, Monnet and Lejeune. Babson 42; Wallis 47.8; OCLC locates copies at the Burndy Library, Melbourne, Leeds, Oxford and the BnF; the copy at Oxford has a binder’s leaf bound before the frontispiece.
Condition: in contemporary full calf, spine attractively tooled in gilt with alternating vignettes of a Greek Urn and a bagpipe, with black morocco label lettered in gilt, small wormhole evident in upper joint, joints and covers lightly rubbed, extremities bumped and worn; a good copy.