Illustrated Account of a Belgian Priest With a Gambling Addiction Who Committed Several Murders [Murder]. [Pierlot, Jacques (1750-1786)]. La Vie de Jacques Pierlot, Pretre & Marguillier de la Paroisse de Vervier, Ville de la Principaute de Liege; Avec tous les Details de son Crime, De sa Degradation, & De son Supplice. Liege: Chez Lemarie, 1786. 52 [i.e., 50] pp. Etched portrait frontispiece. Four etched plates. Octavo (6-1/2" x 4"). Nineteenth-century quarter sheep over marbled boards, gilt fillets and title to spine, marbled endpapers. Moderate rubbing to extremities with some wear to spine ends and corners, recent owner bookplate to front pastedown. Moderate toning to text, faint dampstaining to head of frontispiece and title page, clean tear to lower inner corner of title repaired on verso, bottom line of caption cropped on second plate, final two leaves cropped and re-hinged. Laid in is a copy of the 17 March 1786 Avertissemens de Liege, a handbill of local publisher advertisements, including one for this publication. $1,850. * Only edition. A sensationalistic chapbook about a Belgian priest with a gambling addiction who murdered a creditor and members of the latter's household. He was sentenced by an ecclesiastical tribunal to degradation (permanent removal from clerical office), which was carried out in a public ceremony, then sentenced by a municipal tribunal to be tortured and strangled. The plates depict his degradation and punishment. Chapbooks such as this one were an expression of the anti-clericalism that was a vital part of Enlightenment Francophone culture in the years preceding the French Revolution. OCLC locates 12 copies, 1 in North America (Library of Congress). Not in the British Museum Catalogue.
Book number 69680