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This article details the continuing efforts of the Folger Shakespeare Library to catalog and create finding aids for their Mazarinades collection, as well as describes the pamphlets and their historical context. The content of this article derives from work completed by Nadia Pazolis-Gabriel, Kathryn Gucer, Daniel Yabut and Goran Proot.

The Folger's cache of Mazarinades

17th-century engraving entitled La fronde, no. 43 in the series Les jeux et plaisirs de l’enfance, created by Claudine Bouzonnet-Stella and Jacques Stella. Shelfmark: Lyon, Bibliothèque municipale, F17BOU005421.

In 1648, when Louis XIV was about ten years old and France was effectively ruled by his chief advisor, Cardinal Jules Mazarin, a series of civil wars broke out in France called the Fronde. From 1649 to 1653, thousands of satirical and burlesque political pamphlets called Mazarinades were published, criticizing Mazarin. The Mazarinades were sold at bookstalls along Pont Neuf and Parisian bookshops. This explosion of print was unprecedented in France.

In 1954 the Folger began collecting these pamphlets and has since amassed the largest Mazarinades collection on the North American continent, with 2,650 unique editions of the estimated 6,000 to 7,000 published. We plan to provide access to the Mazarinades collection online, with images, physical descriptions, and bibliographic fingerprints and details.

The Folger Mazarinades Project

The word fronde means "sling," which Parisian mobs reportedly used to smash the windows of Mazarin’s supporters when the rebellion broke out in 1648. These rebels came to be known as frondeurs, a term for schoolboys who used slings when the teacher wasn’t looking. Ultimately, the frondeurs took pen to paper and produced the Mazarinades, after the title of Paul Scarron’s famous satire, La Mazarinade (1651).

The Folger holds 2,650 editions among its 3,237 copies. The Mazarinades have not been systematically cataloged and therefore are mostly not to be found in the Folger’s online catalog, Hamnet. (A checkmarked copy of the nineteenth-century bibliography by Celestin Moreau and others, kept in the Acquisitions Department, provides the authoritative record of the Folger's Mazarinade holdings.) In recent years, new Mazarinades acquisitions have been described in Hamnet, but these represent only a small fraction of the Folger holdings.

The goal of this project is to provide an online finding aid for the Folger Mazarinades collection. Visit Folgerpedia and The Collation for project updates and related articles in the coming months.

Finding aids

You can download for free the following finding-aids: the annotated Folger copy of Moreau’s bibliography (in three separate file); a pdf with an overview of all Moreau numbers and those held by the Folger; a pdf with an overview of all editions listed by Lindsay and Neu that are part of the Folger holdings.