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A catechism in French and Carib

BRETON, Raymond.
Petit catechisme ou sommaire des trois premieres parties de la doctrine chrestienne. Traduit du françois, en la langue des Caraibes Insulaires.
Auxerre, Gilles Bouquet, 1664. 8vo. With a small woodcut on the title-page showing the Virgin and a woodcut of the Crucifixion on p. 16. Modern half maroon morocco, gold-tooled spine. 70 pp.
€ 19,500
The first edition of an abridged French catechism with a Carib translation printed in a parallel column, written to prepare priests for missions to the Caribbean. The author, father Raymond Breton (Baune 1609-Caen 1679), was a French Dominican missionary and a noted linguist. He sailed for the West Indies in 1635 and devoted nearly 20 years to missionary activities. After his return to France in 1654, he was appointed sub-prior of the monastery of Preaching Friars at Blainville. Here Breton wrote several linguistic works that are now among the rarest records of the 17th-century Carib language.
With the bookplate of Joannes B. Stetson on front paste-down. A very good copy. Dampierre, Antilles françaises, pp. 49-50, 83-5; Sabin 7742; for the author: NBG VII, cols. 344-345.
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Related Subjects:

Americas  >  Middle America & Caribbean Islands
Literature & linguistics  >  Literature & Linguistics
Religion & devotion  >  Church History & Missions