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Early manuscript copy of Madame De La Fayette’s biography of Henrietta D’Angleterre, daughter of Charles I of England. Quarto (208 x 150mm). 220pp written in a clear well-spaced hand. Bound in contemporary calf, with the De Niquet arms stamped in gilt to each cover, and the spine decoration and lettered in gilt. The text with some offsetting, some wear to the joints of the binding, which are starting.


PROVENANCE: The arms of the De Niquet family to the covers, likely from the collection of Antoine-Joseph de Niquet (1701-1794).


An early manuscript copy of Madame De La Fayette’s biography of Henrietta D’Angelterre, daughter of Charles I and sister of Charles II.


During the English Civil War, she fled to France wit her mother, who founded the Convent of Sainte Marie de Chaillot, which sheltered part of the exiled English court.


In 1661 she married her cousin, Philippe I, Duke Of Orleans, and was instrumental in negotiating the Secret Treaty of Dover in June 1670. Later that month, as detailed in the manuscript, she died suddenly at the age of 26:

“always holding the crucifix to her mouth, death alone made her part with it, as strength left her, she dropped it. She lost speech and Life quasi-simultaneously, her agony was but a moment, and after two or three little convulsive movements in the mouth, she expired at two thirty in the morning, nine hours after she began to feel unwell.”


Madame de La Fayette was a regular visitor at Chaillot, and the young Henrietta would wait on her there, with the two eventually becoming close friends. Madame La Fayatte died in 1693, and this biography was first published in Amsterdam in 1720.


Textually, this manuscript generally conforms to the published version. There are, however, differences between the present MS and the published text, indicating this may have been one of a few copies that circulated in manuscript form pre-publication. The title to the spine “Hist[oire] Secr[ete]” would support a clandestine circulation.


It was published in English two years later as: Fatal Gallantry; Or The Secret History Of Henrietta Princess Of England.

[Histoire De Madame Henriette D'Angleterre]

SKU: 190
  • Author

    Madame De La Fayette

  • Publisher


  • Date

    c. 1720

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