Miscellaneous letters and papers relating to Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, Aim Martin and Mathieu Mol

Scope and Content

Miscellaneous letters and papers which include the following: letters mainly to Henri Bernardin de Saint Pierre, with anecdotes concerning him, early 19th century; letters to Aim Martin, 1812-44, n.d.; and a life of Mathieu Mol (1584-1656), 18th century.

Administrative / Biographical History

Jacques-Henri Bernardin de Saint-Pierre was born in 1737 in Le Havre, and died at ragny in 1814. Bernardin made his literary debut in 1773 with Voyage l'le de France. This work brought him to the attention of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, whose friendship helped to mould the views expressed in tudes de la nature, which Bernardin wrote in 1784. To the third edition of tudes (1788) he added Paul et Virginie, the story of two island children whose love for each other is spoilt by the interference of civilisation. In a later work, La Chaumire indienne (1790; 'The Indian Cottage'), an English scientist is sent to gather 'des lumires sur toutes les sciences', but discovers wisdom in the home of an Indian outcast. For further details see the Dictionnaire de Biographie Franaise.

Louis Aim Martin (1786-1847) was a friend and disciple of Bernardin. Following Bernardin's death he compiled and published his complete works, prefaced by an essay concerning his life and work: Oeuvres compltes de Jacques-Henri-Bernardin de Saint-Pierre: mises en ordre et prcdes de la vie de l'auteur, par L. Aim Martin; Martin also married Bernardin's widow. Martin's own writings included L'Education des mres de familles, ou de la Civilisation du genre humain par les femmes ('The education of mothers of families; or, the civilisation of the human race by women').

Mathieu Mol, son of douard Mol, became the first president of the Parlement of Paris in 1641. In 1623, as Attorney General at the Parlement, he arrested and imprisoned Thophile de Viau in la prison de la Conciergerie Mol was unable to support the charges of blasphemy and atheism which had been brought against the poet by the Jesuits. He acted as a conciliator during la Fronde, and after having negotiated the peace of Rueil (1649), he became Minister of Justice from 1651 until his death in 1656.

Conditions Governing Access

Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures see http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk)

Acquisition Information

Given to the Library by J.D.A. Thompson [date not recorded].


Collection level description created by Susan Thomas, Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts.

Other Finding Aids

Summary Catalogue of Post-Medieval Western Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Oxford. Acquisitions 1916-1975. (Oxford, 1991), vol. II, nos. 47154-5.