H&W Brochure - page 6-7

Blaise Pascal. Pensées de M. Pascal sur la religion et sur quelques autre sujets, qui
ont esté trouvées aprés sa mort parmy ses papiers.
Paris: Guillaume Desprez, 1670.
12mo, full nineteenth-century red morocco in Jansenist style. Bookbinder’s ticket,
nineteenth-century collector’s bookplate and ownership inscriptions. $16,500.
“Édition originale” of Blaise Pascal’s posthumously collected writings on religion.
Pascal established his brilliance early, inventing the mechanical calculator,
developing the field of probability theory with Fermat, and breaking new ground
in projective geometry, hydrodynamics, and hydrostatics. One night in 1654, Pascal
experienced a mystical vision that inspired him to renounce his scientific career;
after his death, a scrap of paper was found sewn into the lining of his coat recalling
that night: “Joie, joie, joie, pleurs de joie.” Pascal joined the Jansenists, a sect of
radical Augustinian Catholics, and embarked on a defense of his faith, placing
probability theory in service to theology in his provocative wager on the existence
of God. He engaged directly with the philosophical debates of the day, notably
those raised by Descartes and Montaigne, and proved magnetic even to those who
disagreed with him: Voltaire described Pascal as a giant he wanted to battle. Text in
French. This 1670 issue was preceded by an issue of about thirty copies, labeled the
“préoriginale” by bibliographer Le Guern, printed for submission to the censors:
only two copies of the 1669 issue are known to survive.
William Blake. Songs of
Innocence, with: Songs of
Edmonton: William
Muir, 1884-1885. Two quarto
volumes, original wrappers.
33 hand-colored lithographs in
Songs of Innocence; 28 in Songs
of Experience. Housed in custom
box. $14,500.
First color reproductions of
William Blake’s illuminated
Songs of Innocence
(1789) and
Songs of Experience
(1794), preceded only by the
hand-colored copies printed by Blake himself. Startlingly vivid and direct, these
short visionary lyrics include “The Lamb,” “The Chimney Sweeper,” “Ah!
Sunflower,” “London,” and “The Tyger”: “When the stars threw down their spears,
/ And watered heaven with their tears, / Did he smile his work to see? / Did He,
Who made the lamb, make thee?” Few nineteenth-century readers had any sense
of how Blake’s poems were originally presented, each text etched within a vividly
hand-colored image in the technique Blake called “illuminated printing.” In 1884,
WilliamMuir set out to produce a series of historically accurate color reproduc-
tions of Blake’s illuminated works, beginning with
Songs of Innocence
Songs of
.Working in lithography, Muir printed fifty copies of each volume, each
meticulously colored by hand in imitation of Blake’s originals. Amilestone in
English publishing.
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