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Reference : 18453

‎Observations sur le mémoire justificatif de la Cour de Londres; par Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, Armateur & Citoyen Français; Dédiées à la Patrie.‎

‎A Londres, A Philadelphie, et se trouve partout, 1779. 56 pp. 8vo. 19th-century half morocco, marbled boards, one corner lightly bumped and front board a bit discoloured at top, gilt lettering to spine. Cordier, Bibliographie des Oeuvres de Beaumarchais, 456 listing an edition of 68 pages; Echeverria & Wilkie 779/12; Sabin 4182; Fay 12; Tchémerzine-Scheler, i, 512; JFBL B129; Le Bucher Bibliographique, 484. One of four editions published in 1779, Cordier lists an edition of 68 pages and we also once had an edition with 64 pages and without the publishing places on the title-page. The work was condamned on December 19, 1779, and suppressed. Refutation of the accusation raised by the British government in the Mémoire Justificatif written by E. Gibbon, 'this is a recital of French and US grievances against Great Britain and a justification of French policy' (Echeverria & Wilkie). This work by Beaumarchais deals with the French aid given to the American colonies in their struggle against Britain. Beaumarchais was an ardent defender of American liberty and was instrumental in getting the French involved on the American side in the war. He was also allowed to help setting up a fictitious business called Rodrigues Hortalez and Company which was being used to funnel secret aid (guns, amunitions, clothes, etc.) to the rebelling army. This policy came to fruition in 1777 when John Burgoyne's 's army capitulated at Saratoga to a rebel force largely clothed and armed by the supplies Beaumarchais had been sending; it marked a personal triumph for him. Beaumarchais was injured in a carriage accident while racing into Paris with news of Saratoga.- Inscribed ("De la part de l'auteur") by the author on title-page, with bookplate "Ex-Libris du Cabinet d'un Vieux Bibliophile", that is, Jules Couet, librarian and archivist of the Comédie française and celebrated bibliophile, on front paste-down.Beaumarchais is the author of the Marriage of Figaro and the Barber of Sevilla, plays that were very successful, and later used by Mozart and Rossini (Barber of Sevilla) in their operas. ‎

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