Lettres missives et familieres [...], Avec le Monologue de la providence Divine, au peuple François. Reveües, corrigées & augmentées de plusiurs [sic] Lettres Amoureuses, tirées tant de l'Italien du Bembe, que de plusieurs autres Autheurs

Autore: DU TRONCHET, Etienne (d. 1585)

Tipografo: Dominique Salis

Dati tipografici: Paris, 1600

12mo. (14), 330 (i.e. 332), (2 blank) leaves. *12,A-Z12,Aa-Ee12 (Ee11 and Ee12 are blank). With a typographic ornament on the title-page and on leaf *6. Contemporary overlapping vellum with the initials I.E.R and the date 1602 on the front panel.

Apparently unrecorded edition, probably shared by several Parisian printers: Georges Bellier, Georges Lombard, Jacques Rezé, Simon de Sommaville, and Dominique Salis (cf. Index Aureliensis, 158.225).


THIS EDITION has no portrait of the author and, apart some different spelling, is identical to the 1595 Lyon edition.


Little is known about Etienne Du Tronchet's early life. He was born in Montbrison and acquired a deep knowledge of classical literarure as well of the Italian language. About 1530 he entered the services of Jean d'Albon as his secretary, probably through the intercession of Henry II (then still Duc d'Orléans). Du Tronchet accompanied d'Albon on the latter's diplomatic mission all over France, to England, and Flanders. He also became tax collector and treasurer of the ‘baillage de Forez'.

After his patron's death in 1559 he obtained the position of secretary to Jean d'Albon's son Jacques, seigneur de Saint-André, as well as to the Queen Mother, Catherine de' Medici. Jacques, who had become a favourite of Henry II, was made marshal of France, governor of Lyonnais, and ambassador in England. He served with great bravery against the emperor Charles V in 1552. In 1557 he was taken prisoner at the battle of Saint Quentin, but was released the following year, and took part in negotiating the peace of Cateau-Cambrésis (April 3, 1559).

After that event Du Trochet asked his dimission and settled at Saint-Georges-Haulteville, near his native Montbrison and became a member of a literary groupe of Forez (among them Jean and Louis Papon, and several members of the d'Urfé family). Here he also started a prolific literary activity. In 1569 he published his Letters Missives and three years later a new letter collection under the title, Finances et Thresor de la plume françoise.

Probably for economic reasons he entered the services of François Rougier, baron de Ferals, and followed him as his secratry to Flanders in 1570 and Italy in 1571. Rougier died in 1575, when Du Trochet published his Lettres Amoureuses (mostly translated from the Italian). A year later appeared Discours Academiques Florentins appropriez à la langue Françoise. After that date nothing more is kown about him, and Antoine du Verdier in his Bibliothèque (1585) states that Du Tronchet died in Rome in 1578 (cf. C. Longeon, Les écrivains foréziens du XVIe siècle, Saint-Étienne, 1970, pp. 93-117).