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Alphabet Irlandais & JJ Marcel (1776–1854)

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by Patricia Moloney, Cataloguer, Ó Súilleabháin Collection

 

Saineolaithe ag scrúdú an Leac Rosetta / Experts inspecting the Rosetta Stone: International Congress of Orientalists, 1874. Foinse/Source: Illustrated London News, British Museum, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

 
This title Alphabet Irlandais was published after Napoléon Bonaparte (1769—1821) came to power. Bonaparte served as Premier Consul, Republic of France (from 11 November 1799 to 18 May 1804) and continued in power as Emperor of the French (Empereur des Français) and King of Italy (under the title Napoléon I) between May 18, 1804 and 6 April, 1814.

 

Alphabet Irlandais précédé d’une notice historique, littéraire, et typographique, par J. J. Marcel. Imprimerie de la République, nivôse an XII, Paris (Bailiúcháin Uí Shúilleabháin, Ollscoil Luimnigh / Ó Súilleabháin Collection, University of LImerick)

 

Dáta foilseacháin ón leathanach teidil / date on title-page: Alphabet Irlandais

 

Date of publication

The French Republican Calendar can be seen in use in this book with ‘nivôse an XII’ listed as the date. The twelfth year of the first French Republic (1792-1804) is represented by ‘an XII’, and nivôse  (which begins 21—23 December), is the fourth month in the calendar. (The word nivôse comes from Latin, ‘snowy’.)  So ‘nivôse an XII’ represents the period between c.23 December, 1803 and 21 January 1804.

 

Print type

The Irish printing type ‘Rome irish’ is used (see Clóliosta). The type punches were taken by Napoléon’s army from the Typis Sacrae Congregationis De Propaganda Fide in Rome and brought back to Paris in 1801. Shortly before this, Napoléon  Bonaparte’s army had captured the Pope in Rome, an incident which in turn, had followed an attack on a French diplomat, (see McGuinne; Clóliosta).

 

Sampla ó l. 65 / Sample from p. 65,  Alphabet Irlandais

 

Printer Jean-Joseph Marcel (1776—1854)

Appointed by Bonaparte, Jean-Joseph Marcel (1776—1854), printer and engineer, served as  the director of the imprint: ‘Imprimerie de la République’  from 1803 to 1815.  Shortly before this during the Egyptian military campaign, on 15 July 1799  the Napoleonic  army discovered an inscribed stone: ‘the Rosetta Stone’ a few miles from the city of Rosetta (now known as Rashid).

Having an aptitude for languages, JJ Marcel  spent a spell working on the Rosetta Stone in Cairo and the three scripts inscribed upon it, hieroglyphs, Demotic and Ancient Greek. He succeeded in reproducing the stone inscriptions in print in order to disseminate them amongst scholars. His interest in linguistics and palaeography is clear from these efforts!

 

Jean-Joseph Marcel (1776–1854) Portrait  François Dumont  Palace of Versailles Public domain, via  Wikimedia Commons

 

Bibliographic references

This book includes abbreviations from manuscript sources, glossaries etc. The author also makes reference to various books containing Irish in print including the following:

 
Printed in Rome:

 
Printed in Paris:

 
Printed in Louvain:

 

Ón réamhrá / from the preface: Alphabet Irlandais

 

Provenance

Inserted in the book is a letter in March, 1989, from the bookseller, Hodges Figgis Rare Books, to our library donor, Dr Dónal Ó Súilleabháin. The following is an interesting extract regarding Alphabet Irlandais:

 

“Even when Irish books were cheap and plentiful in the balmy days of the forties and fifties, this was an exceptionally ‘difficult’ and expensive item, and I have only handled two or three copies in the last twenty years…The price is IR£580 and I’ll reserve it for you for twenty-one days. Incidentally, do you have a copy of the Begley/MacCurtain Paris 1732 Dictionary? – I tried to buy one at auction yesterday but it fetched almost £850 and that seemed high even for a nice copy”

 
Unsurprisingly, a copy of the Begley dictionary can be found among the holdings of the  Dónal Ó Súilleabháin Collection, see here. Further information regarding Alphabet Irlandais can be found in the Clóliosta under reference number 206.

 

Litir ó / Letter from Hodges Figgis Rare Books, 1989

 

Further reading

 


 

Read post in Irish


 
scríofa ag Patricia Moloney, Catalógaí, Bhailiúcháin Uí Shúilleabhain

 

Saineolaithe ag scrúdú an Leac Rosetta / Experts inspecting the Rosetta Stone: International Congress of Orientalists, 1874. Foinse/Source: Illustrated London News  British Museum, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

 
Foilsíodh an leabhar seo: Alphabet Irlandais, tar éis Napoléon Bonaparte (1769—1821) teacht i gcumhacht. Thosaigh Bonaparte mar Phríomh-Chonsal (Premier Consul), Phoblacht na Fraince, (ó 11 Samhain, 1799 go dtí 18 Bealtaine, 1804), agus mhair sé i gceannas mar Impire na bhFrancach (Empereur des Français) agus Rí na hIodáile (faoin teideal Napoléon I) idir 18 Bealtaine, 1804 agus 6 Aibreán, 1814.

 

Alphabet Irlandais précédé d’une notice historique, littéraire, et typographique, par J. J. Marcel. Imprimerie de la République, nivôse an XII, Paris (Bailiúcháin Uí Shúilleabháin, Ollscoil Luimnigh / Ó Súilleabháin Collection, University of LImerick)

 

Dáta foilseacháin ón leathanach teidil / date on title-page: Alphabet Irlandais

 

Dáta foilseacháin

féilire Phoblacht na Fraince le feiceál in úsaid sa leabhar seo agus ‘nivôse an XII’ mar dáta air. Léiríonn ‘an XII’ an dara bliain déag, san chéad Phoblacht Francach (1792-1804) agus nivôse (agus í ag tosnú 21-23 Mí na Nollag), is ea an ceathrú mí san fhéilire. (Tagann an focal nivôse ón Laidin nivosus, ‘sneachtúil’.) Mar sin, ciallaíonn ‘nivôse an XII’ an tréimhse idir 23 Mí na Nollag 1803 agus 21 Mí Eanair 1804.

 

Cló

Baineadh úsáid as an cló gaelach ‘Rome irish’ sa leabhar seo ,[féach Clóliosta]. Ghabh arm Bonaparte an múnla cló seo ó Typis Sacrae Congregationis De Propaganda Fide sa Róimh agus tugadh go Páras é sa bhliain 1801. Tréimhse roimhe seo, chur arm Napoléon Bonaparte an ruaig ar an Phápa as an Róimh, de bharr eachtra a tharla sa chathair sin nuair a rinneadh ionsaí ar thaidhleoir na Fraince. (féach: McGuinne; Clóliosta)

 

Sampla ó l. 65 / Sample from p. 65,  Alphabet Irlandais

 

Clódóir – Jean-Joseph Marcel (1776–1854)

Chun tola Bonaparte, ó 1803 go dtí 1815, bhí an inphrionta: ‘Imprimerie de la République’ faoi stiúir an clódóra agus innealtóra Jean-Joseph Marcel (1776–1854). Cúpla bliain roimh ré, i rith feachtas míleata na hÉigipte, ar 15 Mí Iúil, 1799,  tháinig arm Bonaparte ar an chloch ghreanta: ‘Leac Rosetta’ cuplá míle ó chathair Rosetta, (Rashid sa lá atá inniu ann).

Agus bua na dteangacha aige, chaith JJ Marcel  dreas ag obair ar an ‘Leac Rosetta’ i gCaireo agus trí script uirthi – iairiglifí;  script choitinn (Demotic)  agus an tSean-Ghréigis. Rinne sé cóip don leac agus chur sé na hinscríbhinní a bhí le feiceáil uirthi i gcló. Mar sin, bhí sé in inmhe iad a scaipeadh i measc na scoláirí. Is léir ón méid sin go raibh neart spéise aige i gcúrsaí teangeolaíochta agus pailéagrafaíochta!

 

Jean-Joseph Marcel (1776–1854) Portrait  François Dumont  Palace of Versailles Public domain, via  Wikimedia Commons

 

Tagairtí bibleagrafaíochta

Ar fáil sa leabhar seo tá noda ó foinsí lámhscríbhinní, gluaiseanna, srl. Freisin déanann an t-údar tagairt do leabhair éagsúla agus an Ghaeilge i gcló iontu, na cinn seo a leanas san áireamh:
 
cinn clóbhuailte sa Róimh:

 
clóbhuailte i bPáras:

 
clóbhuailte i Louvain:

 

Ón réamhrá / from the preface: Alphabet Irlandais

 

Stair úinéireachta

Iniata sa leabhar seo tá litir scríofa óndíoltóir leabhar,Hodges Figgis Rare Books; chuig ár ndeontóir leabharlainne Dónal Ó Súilleabháin i Márta na bliana, 1989.  Seo a leanas sliocht spéisiúil asti ag cur síos ar Alphabet Irlandais:

“Even when Irish books were cheap and plentiful in the balmy days of the forties and fifties, this was an exceptionally ‘difficult’ and expensive item, and I have only handled two or three copies in the last twenty years…The price is IR£580 and I’ll reserve it for you for twenty-one days. Incidentally, do you have a copy of the Begley/MacCurtain Paris 1732 Dictionary? – I tried to buy one at auction yesterday but it fetched almost £850 and that seemed high even for a nice copy”

Ní gá a rá go bhfuil cóip d’fhoclóir Begley ar fáil ó Bhailiúcháin Dhónail Uí Shúilleabhain, féach anseo. Tá tuilleadh eolais faoi Alphabet Irlandais ar fáil sa Clóliosta ag uimhir tagartha 206.
 

Litir ó / Letter from Hodges Figgis Rare Books, 1989

 

Further reading