« Mignonne, allons voir… » – Highlights from the poetic library Jean Paul Barbier-Müller
by Nicolas Ducimetière
Foreword : Jean d’Ormesson of the Académie française
Preface : Michel Jeanneret
A new type of poetry was born in Europe’s iron century (1550-1650) and its refined verses delighted France. It was a time when the companions of the Muses and courtesans of Apollo were legion ; they dedicated an enthusistic cult to the demi-god and prophets that inspired this universe: Ronsard and Du Bellay. They sang of love and war, kings and maidens called Cassandre, Marie, Hélène, Pasithée or Meline; their verses covered all facets of life. The library of Jean Paul Barbier-Muller, started some sixty years ago, is entirely dedicated to these French poets living under the last ot the Valois and he reigns of Henry IV and Louis XIII, from the early works of Ronsard to the dawn of the Classical age.
Today, this is the largest collection of books devoted to this rich theme. Copiously documented and illustrated, Mignonne, allons voir… displays, for the first time, these rare original editions, books of royal provenance and lavish bindings – the jewels of a unique collection.