The book, whose full title Translates from French to: “the universal art of fortifications, French, Dutch, Spanish, Italian and compounds.” Is followed by a subtitle sentence which reads: “With the Art of attacking fortified places by surprise and by force, and also to defend fortified places against surprises and force.”
Those two sentences already contain a lot of information about the content of the book for the reader even before reading the list of contents.
The book seems to be speaking to someone who wants to gain or expand her knowledge in the architectural field if warfare. In this case: ‘How to attack and defend one’s fortification’.
The list of contents is split into four ‘traite’ treaties. Each Treaty is again split up into chapters which are all named ‘pratique’ practice and an appropriate number. Each practice in each treaty, and each treaty itself contributes to the question of the book ‘How to build a fortification.
Once we look at the pages of the book, we will find that each double page, with exception of treaty one and four contains one written page and one which illustrates the content of the written page. The drawings seem to be hand drawings done with a pencil. They are not all just technical drawings which support the written statements, there are also some done in a highly artistical and decorative style.
The book seems an appropriate size for a handbook in relation to this topic. Maybe one could say it should be bigger and contain even more details, because the art of attack and especially defense is most certainly a very important topic.
The Autor, Jean Du Breuil, was a French mathematician, writer and essayist, who lived in the 17th century. There’s not much more I could find out about him except that he wrote two other books, which one could say both, or all three, engage in one way or the other withthe field of geometry.