Théveneau de Morande, Charles (1741-1805)
[LIBELLE] Le Gazetier cuirassé, ou Anecdotes scandaleuses de la cour de France.
Imprimé à cent lieues de la Bastille à l’enseigne de la liberté [i.e. London] : s.n., 1772. Second edition. Duodecimo, original calf (heavily scuffed), spine in compartments with gilt ornament, stamped title labels lost but with early manuscript paper title label to foot; edges stained red, original marbled endpapers, engraved frontispiece, title with early ownership signature scratched out and 19th century annotation ‘in London’ beside the imprint, pp viii, 9-174; internally very clean and crisp.
Charles Théveneau de Morande (1741–1805) was a gutter journalist, blackmailer and French spy who lived in London. His Le Gazetier cuirassé was first printed in London in 1771. This libelle, or defamatory pamphlet, was one of the most successful pieces of clandestine literature published in the last part of the18th century. A viscious attack on the Ancien Régime, it is full of anecdotes of debauchery and scandals among the French nobility, and describes a decadent realm in crisis. Two of the writer’s targets were the Chancellor Maupeou and the Duke de la Vrillière, whose caricatures feature in the frontispiece engraving.