Master Adam left two pieces of work, The Kingpins (1644) and The Brace (1663). A third one, entitled The Plane, was allegedly included in The Brace. Ferdinand Denis rated his first work over the second one, which, he said, resented the old age and the misery of its author—as a matter of fact it came out as a posthumous work. In the forewords, Father Pothier even wrote: “I was finishing this preface when I heard about Adam’s death.” Did anyone at Court weep over the carpenter of Nevers? Chaudon wrote that he was quite appreciated, and the friend of all poets.
He sank into oblivion after a while but was rehabilitated in the early 19th century, mainly thanks to Jean Pinet who put out the definitive edition of his complete works. Nowadays, the carpenter-poet is totally unknown—but a handful of 350 year-old books still circulate among book lovers, and—who knows?-one might eventually fall into the hands of a modern Abbot of Marolles, or another Jean Pinet.
Les Chevilles (The Kingpins-1644): gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k5569303x
Le Vilebrequin (The Brace-1664):
Poésies de Maître Adam Billaut (Nevers, 1842):
Adam Billaut’s house in Nevers: upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a7/Nevers_maison_adam_billaut_01.JPG