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(MAAS,J.F.) Manuel militaire, ou cayers détachés sur toutes les différentes parties de l'art de la guerre. Cayer I. sur les convois. Copenhagen (Copenhague), Leiden (Leide), Chez Elie Luzac, 1761. 8vo. X,(II),11-114,(4) p., 2 folding engraved tables. Calf 20.5 cm (Ref: M. van Vliet 'Elie Luzac (1721-1796', Nijmegen 2005, p. 153-54 & 571)) (Details: Back gilt, and with 5 raised bands. Brown morocco shield in the second compartment. Edges of the boards gilt, edges of the book dyed red. Marbled endpapers. Title in red and black. 2 folding maps depicting an imaginary landscape, with (1, 47x24 cm) 'Plan de la marche d'un convoy' and (2, 35x24) 'Plan de l'attaque d'un convoy') (Condition: Boards somewhat scratched and stained. Wee wormhole at the bottom of the back. Both pastdownes detached. Red ink stain on the front flyleaf. Edges of the first table thumbed, it also suffers from 3 tears of 6 cm on the folds) (Note: KVK, The Karlsruher Virtueller Katalog, presents only a small number of copies of this title. Most copies are catalogued anonymously. The Staatsbibliothek Berlin records a copy, and attributes it to one 'Johann Friedrich Maas'. The 'Kongelige Bibliotek Dänemark' calls the author 'Maase,v.d.' Worldcat. records 9 copies, 7 anonymous and 2 ascribed to one 'v.d. Maase'. A passage in a letter of the Danish publisher J.F. Hansen to the German author Heinrich Wilhelm Gerstenberg, dated 'Slesvig, d. 27 Jul. 1763' sheds light on this matter: 'Bei dem Manuale ist mir beigefallen, ob Ew. Hochwolgeb. es nicht für ratsam, schicklich u. fast für notwendig erkenen, dass ich das teutsche Msct. H.M. v. Maas vorher praesentire, u. gleichsam seine Genehmigung zum Druck bei ihm suche. Sie wird mir nicht entgehen: eine Folge aber, welche bei H. Major zwar nicht eintreffen, aber bei dergleichen sonst gar leicht sich begeben kan, ist: dass der Autor, wenn sein Werk ohne sein Vorwissen veranstaltet wird, einige Veränderungen mit demselben entweder vornemen, oder Zusätze dazu macht u. alsdenn zieht der gleichsam stillschweigende Verleger den kürtzern, ja irre ich mich nicht, so deucht mir mal gehört zu haben, dass H.M. bei einer etwarigen Übersetzung, noch einige Anmerckungen demselben beifügen wollte. Desto besser!' The note which accompanies this passage reveals more: 'Wie bisher unbekannt war, scheint Gerstenberg eine Übersetzung folgenden Werks geplant zu haben: 'Manuel militaire. Ou cayers détachés sur toutes les différentes parties de l'art de guerre. Cayer 1-2'. Verfasser war Johan Frederik Maas (1713-1790), seit 1759 dänischer Major'. (R. Whittmann, 'Zur Verlegertypologie der Goethezeit. Unveröffentlichte Verlegerbriefe an Heinrich Wilhelm Gerstenberg' in 'Jahrbuch für internationale Germanistik', 8/1, 1976, p. 99-130. See: goethezeitportal.de/db/wiss/epoche/wittmann_verlegertypologie.pdf) § His plan is, the author of the 'Manuel militaire' tells us in the preface, 'de donner, sur toutes les Opérations militaires, de petits volumes détachés', to produce small volumes. He plans to produce slim and handy volumes, not only 'pour la commodité des Acheteurs', but also because the art of warefare reaches more perfection every day, and every now and then new discoveries influence warefare. He begins the series with the 'Convoy': 'la manière de les conduire, de les assûrer, de les attaquer & de les défendre'. This is explained in theory and in practice. Maas describes e.g. elaborately the skirmishes around the Dutch town of Bergen op Zoom between the French troops and the Dutch forces at the end of the War of Austrian succession in 1747 and 1748. (See Wikipedia s.v. Het beleg van Bergen op Zoom) The author is full of optimism about his project, 'S'il est gouté, les autres le suivront de près'. (p. IX & X). A second volume 'sur les fourrages' followed in 1763. Then it stops. The series did not catch on, and a German translation of the first part was never published. This translation would probably have been published by the Leiden publisher Elie Luzac in cooperation with the firm of Weidmann. Nothing came of it. To confuse matters, M. van Vliet refers in her dissertation on Elie Luzac to 'Johann Friedrich Maas' not as an officer but as a Copenhagen publisher. Luzac had certainly, as Maas, high expectations concerning the Manual. From an auction list of 1801 (Luzac died in 1796) we learn that there were still 586 with tables and 599 copies without tables available, and 112 copies of volume 2 of the series were still gathering dust. (Vliet, M. van, 'Elie Luzac (1721-1796), Boekverkoper van de Verlichting', Nijmegen 2005, p. 153/4 and p. 571) This huge number contrasts sharply with the small number of copies on library shelves. The lot probably did not find a buyer, and the remainder must have been destroyed. We found an advertisement for this book in the 'Rotterdamsche Courant' of the first of january 1785, and repeated on the 8th. Luzac announces that it might be wise, considering the turbulent times, (naval war with the English, an immanent war with Prusia, and domestic troubles, violent riots between the patriot militias and the orangist mobs) for officers and those interested in the military to buy this book. The price is 1 guilder and 15 stuivers. As we saw, it was of no avail) (Collation: A-8 (A5 plus A6) ; B-G8, H2; (A second leaf A6 has been inserted after the preliminary pages between the regular A5 and the not signed A6; this inserted A6 gives on the recto side a list of authors, and on the verso the table of contents and a list corrigenda; most copies we saw had the second leaf A6, which is not paginated, at the end after H-2)) (Photographs on request)
Book number: 130444 Euro 180.00

Keywords: (Oude Druk), (Rare Books), Armee, Denmark, Dänemark, Elie Luzac, Heer, Krieg, Kriegskunst, army, battle, convoy, siege of Bergen op Zoom, war, warefare
€ 180,00


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