Gédéon Tallemant des Réaux (1619–92) was the son of a wealthy middle-class Huguenot family from La Rochelle, and is best known for his Historiettes galantes, a collection of short and rather salacious biographies of influential French noble families of the time. Tallemant was aided in his story-telling by his wife, also his cousin, Elisabeth de Rambouillet. Madame de Rambouillet was no admirer of King Louis XIII, and she gratified her husband’s curiosity with stories of the reigns of Henry IV and Louis XIII that are of real historical value. The society of the Hôtel de Rambouillet was the perfect setting for his acute and somewhat malicious observation, and the Historiettes remain a valuable source for the literary history of the time.
The Historiettes galantes are a perfect subject for Amandine Doré’s pen and watercolour brushes, the fifteen prints enhanced by an original hand-coloured drawing and an extra set of four plates which were included in thirty of the 350 boxed sets to be printed.
The Doré-illustrated edition of Historiettes galantes was published by Les Bibliophiles de la Basoche, the plates being reproduced by the printworks of Éditions de l’Ibis and Éditions Les Heures Claires.