La Conquete de Constantinople.

Ville - Hardouin, Geoffroi de, Marechal de Champagne / Yves Brayer (Ilustrator).

Book ID: 31706


4to. 264 pp., beautifully illustrated in 22 watercolors by Yves Brayer, edited from the Latin text by the Club Bibliophile de France and adapted to modern French by Pierre d’Espezel, loose as issued in vellum, fitted in a special slip case, very light foxing to the slipcase, copy in very good condition, Presse de Damien, et de Duval, Paris, 1951.


Limited and numbered edition of 1050 copies, of which this copy is No 849.
The work contains Villehardouin’s account of the Conquest of Constantinople which is the basic source for our knowledge of the sack of Constantinople by the French and Venetian crusader forces and the establishment of the Latin empire in the East. Geoffrei de Villehardouin (1160- ca 1212), a French knight and historian, participated in and chronicled the Fourth Crusade, began to write his chonicle in 1207. It’s one of the oldest books composed in French prose.
Most historian are convinced that this work is one of the most important eye-witness accounts of the Fourth Crusade (1202–4). ‘As a member of the elite inner circle of the crusade leadership, Geoffrey was party to most of its key meetings and his memoir provides unparalleled insight into its workings. He boldly claimed the veracity of his text: “the author of this work has never, to his knowledge, put anything in it contrary to the truth”. Some historians have been less convinced and view him as an apologist, concealing facts that could reflect badly on the crusade (such as the full details of the ransacking of Constantinople) and covering up any hint that there was a possible plot to divert the crusade to Byzantium.
It is published here with illustrations by the French artist Yves Brayer (1907-1990). Bibliographic Reference: Monod, 11244.

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