Paris: Paris, Chez Antoine Dezallier, 1690, 1690. First Edition. 12mo. First edition. xxv,(2),615,(1)pp.Bound in contemporary calf. Item #739
Baillet was, from 1680 to his death, librarian to M. de Lamoignon, advocat-general to the parlement of Paris, of whose library he produced a manuscript catalogue raisonné in 35 folio volumes. It seems ironic that one should need to cosult Barbier to discover the author of this pioneering work, but the effort is rewarding, for here we read that - Cet ouvrage [était] le premier publié en France sur ce genre de recherches bibliographiques. The subject is approached from various angles, the psychology of pseudonymity, the various types of cognomes etc. This was a preliminary treatise, which should have been followed by a Recueil des Auteurs Déguisés but unfortunately the author died in 1706 leaving his work unfinished, and it was not for another 100 years, with the publication of Barbier's Dictionnaire des Ouvrages Anonymes in 1806, that the project was finally completed. In his preface Barbier pays eloquent tribute to the erudition of his predecessor. "In 1690 Adrien Baillet (1649 - 1706) published his Auteurs deguisez... A list of nearly 1,700 identifications of pseudonyms accompanied this extensive and very interesting discussion. Unconsciously, Baillet adopted in this list a new procedure that has had many imitators... Aprosio's Visiera alzata and Baillet's Auteurs deguisez are the first great contributions to the study of cryptonyms by librarians." (Taylor & Mosher, The Bibliographical History of Anonyma and Pseudonyma, pp. 115-116). Baillet was librarian to M. de Lamoignon, avocat général of the Parlement de Paris. Baillet's bibliographical activities left him no time to change his clothes or to eat more than one meal a day. "Des auteurs déguisés" (1690); "Des enfants célèbres" (1688). With the exception of the last, which still attracts by its curiousness, these books are now almost forgotten, both because they are incomplete and because they have been more than replaced by the works of such writers as Brunet, Querard, Barbier, etc. Baillet's criticisms were not accepted by all.
CG, VI, 562; Barbier.