Histoire des Isles Marianes nouvellement converties à la religion chrétienne & de la mort glorieuse des premiers Missionnaires qui y ont prêché la Foy

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Author: Le Gobien, Charles (1653-1708)

Year: 1700

Publisher: Nicolas Pepie

Place: Paris


[xxiii]+433+[13 table] pages with two folding maps of the Marsianes and Guam. Duodecimo (6 1/2 x 3 1/4") bound in contemporary full sheep with red label in gilt spine and five raised spine bands, speckled red end pages. (Brunet 28230, Cioranescu 41783) First edition.

Charles Le Gobien was a French Jesuit writer, founder of the Lettres édifiantes et curieuses a collection of reports from Jesuit missionaries in China. It is a major source of information for the history of Catholic missions and life in China in those times. Le Gobien was born at Saint-Malo, Brittany. He entered the Society of Jesus on 25 November 1671. As professor of philosophy and especially while procurator of the Franco-Chinese mission, he sought in a series of papers to awaken interest in the work of Christianizing Eastern Asia. In 1697 appeared at Paris his Lettres sur les progréz de la religion à la Chine. Apropos of Chinese Rites controversy, he published among other things Histoire de l'édit de l'empereur de la Chine en faveur de la religion chrétienne avec un éclaircissement sur les honneurs que les Chinois rendent à Confucius et aux morts (Paris, 1698); and in the year 1700: Lettre à un Docteur de la Faculté de Paris sur les propositions déférées en Sorbonne par M. Prioux. Under the same date there appeared in Paris the Histoire des Isles Mariannes nouvellement converties à la religion chrétienne. The second part, translated into Spanish by J. Delgado, is found in the latter's Historia General de Filipinas (Manila, 1892). In 1702 Père Le Gobien published Lettres de quelques missionnaires de la Compagnie de Jésus, écrites de la Chine et des Indes Orientales; this was the beginning of the collection soon to become celebrated under the title of Lettres édifiantes et curieuses écrites des missions étrangéres par quelques missionnaires de la Compagnie de Jésus. The first eight series were by Le Gobien, the latter ones by Fathers Du Halde, Patouillet, Geoffroy, and Maréchal. The collection was printed in thirty-six volumes duodecimo (Paris, 1703–76), and reissued in 1780-81 by Fathers Yves, de Querbeux, and Brotier in twenty-six volumes duodecimo, omitting the prefaces. New editions appeared in 1819, 1829–32, and 1838-43. One abridgment in four volumes octavo, was entitled Panthéon Littéraire, by L. Aimé Martin (1834–43). A partial English translation came out in London in 1714. The publication incited the Austrian Jesuit Stöcklein to undertake his Neuer Welt Bott (about 1720), at first considered merely a translation, but soon an independent and particularly valuable collection (five volumes, folio in forty parts) substantially completing the Lettres Edifiantes.

This is a history of the Christian missions in the Marianas or Ladrones Islands in the north-western Pacific, the principal island of which is Guam. Reprinted in the text are several letters from early missionaries (Medina, Clain, Sanvitores, &c.). The Jesuit mission was established there by Diego Luis de Sanvitores. Father Le Gobien never visited the Mariana islands but based his account chiefly on the relations and letters of missionaries sent to him from Rome, Spain, the Netherlands etc. Includes a letter by P. Clain about the discovery of the Caroline Islands.


Rebacked with original spine laid down, provenance: Jesuit College library with old stamps to front free endpaper, half title and title page else about very good.

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