This is a beautiful 1782 map by Jean- Baptiste-Claude Delisle de Sales depicting France during the reign of Louis XVI. The map covers all of France and part of modern day Belgium and Switzerland from Bruxelles (Brussels) to the Pyrenees and inland as far as Florence, Italy. Includes the island of Corsica. Topography is noted throughout with mountains rendered beautifully in profile.
This map depicts France during the reign of Louis XVI, the last Ancien Regime French King before the French Revolution. Louis XVI was probably not the worse king France ever had, but he was definitely in the wrong place at the wrong time. In the years just prior to the 1889 French Revolution, France had entered a period of sustained economic decline. French in involvement in the American Revolutionary War and the Seven Years War strained the national treasury and put increased pressure on the peasantry. This was compounded by several years of poor harvest brought on by erratic weather patterns associated with el Nino and the 1783 eruptions the Icelandic Laki and Grimsvotn volcanoes. The Royal court at Versailles, isolated and seemingly indifferent to the hardships of the lower classes, proved an easy target. Events would come to a head on July 14th, 1789, when angry insurgents would storm the Bastille prison, giving birth to the bloody French Revolution and effectively ending the French monarchy.
This map was issued as part of Delisle de Sales' Histoire des Hommes. Partie de l'Histoire Moderne. This volume is exceedingly rare as most of Sales' work was burnt under the censorship of heresy.
Jean-Baptiste-Claude Delisle de Sales or Jean-Baptiste Isoard de Lisle (1741–1816) was a French philosopher, historian, and accused heretic active in the late 18th century. Sales is best known for his publication of the multi-volume opus The Philosophy of Nature: Treatise on Human Moral Nature. The work, among other ideas, challenged the Biblical theory that the earth was created in 4004 BC. Instead, Sales put forth the theory based upon astronomical observations, that the earth was 140,000 years old. Sales' revolutionary ideas caused him to be declared a heretic by the Catholic Church. His publications were subsequently censored and, for the most part, destroyed. As a consequence all of his works are today extremely rare. Sales was also, notably, a close friend of Voltaire who in 1777 visited him in prison, gifting him 500 pounds towards his release. Delisle de Sales is unrelated to the more famous De L'Isle family of cartographers.
Delisle de Sales, Histoire des Hommes. Partie de l'Histoire Moderne, (Paris) 1782.
Very good. Minor wear along original fold lines. Original platemark visible. Minor spotting and worm holes in bottom right quadrant. Blank on verso.