Le Duchat

Le Duchat

Jacob Le Duchat (1658-1735) was a French literary scholar whose 1711 edition of the works of Rabelais[1] was the first to include historical and critical commentary[2][3][4][5].

Le Duchat’s is the first of the critical editions. It takes account of differences in the texts, and begins to point out the variations. His very numerous notes are remarkable, and are still worthy of most serious consideration. He was the first to offer useful elucidations, and these have been repeated after him, and with good reason will continue to be so.[6]

Le Duchat’s commentary was translated into English by John Ozell for his 1737 edition of Gargantua and Pantagruel[7].


1. Rabelais, François (ca. 1483–1553), Œuvres de Maitre François Rabelais. Publiées sous le titre de : Faits et dits du géant Gargantua et de son fils Pantagruel, avec la Prognostication pantagrueline, l’épître de Limosin, la Crême philosophale et deux épîtres à deux vieilles de moeurs et d’humeurs différentes. Nouvelle édition, où l’on a ajouté des remarques historiques et critiques. Tome Troisieme. Jacob Le Duchat (1658–1735), editor. Amsterdam: Henri Bordesius, 1711. Google Books

2. Plan, Pierre-Paul, Bibliographie Rabelaisienne. Les éditions de Rabelais de 1532 à 1711. Catalogue raisonné descriptif et figuré, illustré de cent soixante-six facsimilés (titres, variantes, pages de texte, portraits). Paris: Imprimerie nationale, 1904. p. 227. Internet Archive

3. Rabelais, François (ca. 1483–1553), The Works of Francis Rabelas. Translated from the French by Sir Thomas Urquhart and Motteux; with explanatory notes, by Duchat, Ozell, and Others. Volume I [books 1 and 2]. Thomas Urquhart and Peter Motteux, translator. London: H. G. Bohn, 1851. introduction. Archive.org

4. Rabelais, François (ca. 1483–1553), The Five Books and Minor Writings. Volume 1: Books I-III. William Francis Smith (1842–1919), translator. London: Alexader P. Watt, 1893. viii. Archive.org

5. Fraser, Theodore P., Le Duchat: First Editor of Rabelais. Genève: Librarie Droz, 1971. p. 10. Google Books

6. Rabelais, François (ca. 1483–1553), The Works of Francis Rabelas. Translated from the French by Sir Thomas Urquhart and Motteux; with explanatory notes, by Duchat, Ozell, and Others. Volume I [books 1 and 2]. Thomas Urquhart and Peter Motteux, translator. London: H. G. Bohn, 1851. introduction. Archive.org

7. Rabelais, François (ca. 1483–1553), The Works of Francis Rabelais, M.D. The Third Book. Now carefully revised, and compared throughout with the late new edition of M. Le du Chat. John Ozell (d. 1743), editor. London: J. Brindley, 1737.


Notes

Le Duchat

Jacob Le Duchat (1658-1735) est un érudit et philologue français du XVIIIe siècle. Annotateur et éditeur scientifique, il a laissé une édition de référence des œuvres de Rabelais.

Wikipédia (Fr.)
Wikipédia

Œuvres de Maitre François Rabelais.

François Rabelais [ca. 1483–1553]
Œuvres de Maitre François Rabelais. Publiées sous le titre de : Faits et dits du géant Gargantua et de son fils Pantagruel, avec la Prognostication pantagrueline, l’épître de Limosin, la Crême philosophale et deux épîtres à deux vieilles de moeurs et d’humeurs différentes. Nouvelle édition, où l’on a ajouté des remarques historiques et critiques. Tome Troisieme
Jacob Le Duchat [1658–1735], editor
Amsterdam: Henri Bordesius, 1711
Google Books

Ozell

François Rabelais [ca. 1483–1553]
The Works of Francis Rabelais, M.D. The Third Book. Now carefully revised, and compared throughout with the late new edition of M. Le du Chat
John Ozell [d. 1743], editor
London: J. Brindley, 1737

Le Duchat

France, through a representative in a foreign land, however, comes into line again in the beginning of the eighteenth century, and in a really serious fashion, thanks to the very considerable learning of a French refugee, Jacob Le Duchat, who died in 1748. He had a most thorough knowledge of the French prose-writers of the sixteenth century, and he made them accessible by his editions of the Quinze Joies du Mariage, of Henri Estienne, of Agrippa d’Aubigne, of L’Etoile, and of the Satyre Menippee. In 1711 he published an edition of Rabelais at Amsterdam, through Henry Bordesius, in five duodecimo volumes. The reprint in quarto which he issued in 1741, seven years before his death, is, with its engravings by Bernard Picot, a fine library edition. Le Duchat’s is the first of the critical editions. It takes account of differences in the texts, and begins to point out the variations. His very numerous notes are remarkable, and are still worthy of most serious consideration. He was the first to offer useful elucidations, and these have been repeated after him, and with good reason will continue to be so. The Abbe de Massy’s edition of 1752, also an Amsterdam production, has made use of Le Duchat’s but does not take its place. Finally, at the end of the century, Cazin printed Rabelais in his little volume, in 1782, and Bartiers issued two editions (of no importance) at Paris in 1782 and 1798. Fortunately the nineteenth century has occupied itself with the great ‘Satyrique’ in a more competent and useful fashion.

François Rabelais [ca. 1483–1553]
The Works of Francis Rabelas.. Translated from the French by Sir Thomas Urquhart and Motteux; with explanatory notes, by Duchat, Ozell, and Others. Volume I [books 1 and 2]
introduction
Thomas Urquhart and Peter Motteux, translator
London: H. G. Bohn, 1851
Archive.org

Duchat

To the learned labours of Duchat every reader of an annotated Rabelais must be deeply indebted. He was a French Huguenot refugee living in Berlin, who devoted himeslf with great zeal to writing commentaries on the French literature of the 15th and 16th centuries. His great work was his Rabelais, of which the last and most complete edition was published in Amsterdam in 1741. It is a very handsome book in three volumes 4°, containing the text with elaborate notes, the letters with the commentary of the brothers Sainte-Marthe, the translation of Motteux’s notes by De Missy, and other matters of a less important nature. Although Urquhart and Motteux had written notes more or less continuous in explanation of their translation, no attempt at a detailed commentary seems to have been made before Duchat’s edition. He was admirable fitted for his task by his wide erudition, knowledge of the French language and literature and of the manners and customs of the various parts of France, as well as by the zeal which he brought to bear on his subject. His first edition was published in 1711.

It would be ungrateful not to record considerable obligation to the variorum edition of Esmangart and Johanneau (Paris 1823). This edition incorporates the notes of Duchat, some from Motteux, De Marsy and others, besides giving original notes on antiquarian, linguistic and other subjects, as well as a voluminous historical commentary, the value of which, however, is marred by a kind of hallucination which seems to beset these writes that the characters in Rabelais’ romance are intended for almost exact counterparts of historical personages throughout.

François Rabelais [ca. 1483–1553]
The Five Books and Minor Writings. Volume 1: Books I-III
viii
William Francis Smith [1842–1919], translator
London: Alexader P. Watt, 1893
Archive.org

Le Duchat

Œuvres de Maitre François Rabelais

Publiées sous le titre de : Faits et dits du géant Gargantua et de son fils Pantagruel, avec la Prognostication pantagrueline, l’épître de Limosin, la Crême philosophale et deux épîtres à deux vieilles de moeurs et d’humeurs différentes. Nouvelle édition, où l’on a ajouté des remarques historiques et critiques, sur tout l’Ouvrage; le vrai Portrait de Rabelais; la Carte de Chinonnois; le dessein de la Cave peinte; & les différentes vûes de la Deviniere, Metairie de l’Autheur. A Amsterdam, Chez Henri Bordesius, 1711.

Six tomes quelquefois reliés en cinq volumes petit in-8°; le premier tome orné de planches en taille-douce.

C’est la première édition critique & commentée de Rabelais; elle a été publiée par Le Duchat, avec la collaboration de La Monnoye.

D’autres contrefaçons sont datés de 1721 & 1724. Le texte y est déplorablement fautif, & le travail de Le Duchat, trahi à chaque page. En 1732, ce méme travail a été repris & réédité, en six volumes in-8°, sans indication de lieu (Paris, chez Prault), par Jamet l’âiné & Thomas Gueulette, qui n’ont pas apporté une grande attention au texte, & ont laissé échapper un grand nombre de coquilles. Ces deux éditeurs ont ajouté aux remarques de Le Duchat quelques notes personnelles, qu’ils ont marquées du signe ¶, connu en langage typographique sous le nom de pied de mouche, qui a donné lieu à une plaisante confusion. Le bibliophile Jacobe raconte, en effet, dans le Bulletin de bouquiniste du 15 avril 1857, qu’il cherchait depuis vingt-cinq ans un ouvrage intitulé Les Pieds de Mouches, ou les Nouvelles Noces de Rabelais.

Enfin, l’ouvrage de Le Duchat a été réimprime, encore plus défectueusement, en 1741, en 3 vol. in-4°, à Amsterdam, chez Frédéric Bernard.

Pierre-Paul Plan
Bibliographie Rabelaisienne. Les éditions de Rabelais de 1532 à 1711. Catalogue raisonné descriptif et figuré, illustré de cent soixante-six facsimilés (titres, variantes, pages de texte, portraits)
p. 227
Paris: Imprimerie nationale, 1904
Internet Archive

Le Duchat, first editor of Rabelais

Initial probings [into the influence of Rabelais in the eighteenth century] brought me into contact with the most important contribution of this period: the critical edition of the Œuvres by the learned Jacob Le Duchat. Before Rabelais’ “presence” could be fruitfully explored throughout the entire century, it was clear that a careful study would have to be made of this monumental edition, the first appearance of a Rabelais with serious scholarly apparatus.

The Le Duchat Rabelais was finally superseded only by a completely new edition in 1912 with the publication of the first two volumes of the Abel Lefranc Edition critique.

The commentary of any editor on the works of an author can never be entirely devoid of a certain subjectivism, and when the critic is a Protestant refugee [Huguenot] , and his text is Pantagruel and Gargantua, subjective considerations seem inevitable.

Theodore P. Fraser
Le Duchat: First Editor of Rabelais
p. 10
Genève: Librarie Droz, 1971
Google Books

Last modified: 14 March 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *