MERIMEE, Prosper. La Double méprise, Par l’auteur du Théâtre de Clara Gazul.


"La Double méprise" by Mérimée
First edition of La Double méprise by Mérimée, one of the very few copies printed on large vellum paper.

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SKU: LCS-10906 Categories: ,

Paris, H. Fournier, 1833.

8vo [215 x 130 mm] of (2) ll., 1 portrait of the author, 290 pp. Bound in full straight-grained Jansenist fawn morocco, spine ribbed, red morocco doublures, gilt fillet, beige watered endleaves, double marbled paper endleaves, gilt over untrimmed edges, blue printed wrappers preserved. Case. Binding signed David.

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First edition of this novel by Mérimée, one of the very few copies printed on large vellum paper. Carteret, II, p.140; Clouzot, p. 201; Vicaire, Manuel de l’amateur de livres du XIXe siècle, V, p. 712; Bulletin de la Librairie Morgand et Fatout, 4143; Bibliothèque de Backer, 1524.

“Very few large vellum paper copies.” (Clouzot)

La Double méprise, published anonymously in September 1833, is inspired by the ephemeral affair Mérimée had with George Sand in April 1833. Encounter, seduction, desire, failure, their affair was largely public and malevolently commented in the Parisian artistic circle. Sand was hurt by this failure and judged their love story as the biggest mistake of her life.

“With ‘La Double-méprise’, composed, by his own admission, in haste and finished in order to earn some money, Mérimée wrote one of his best stories. By studying the progress of remorse in Julie de Chaverny’s heart and by showing the role of fate in his heroine’s future, he masterfully practices the art of psychological shortcut. It is in this short story that he only needs a few lines to outline an epicurean and refined life  ideal of which the Stendhalian resonance has not escaped those who are familiar with the author of the ‘Traité de l’Amour’…” (R. Baschet. Du romantisme au Second Empire: Mérimée, p. 80).

The copy is enriched with an engraved portrait of the author by Lalauze after Deveria.

A beautiful wide-margined copy, one of the very few printed on large vellum paper, bound in morocco with morocco doublures and its blue printed wrappers.

Amongst the 2 copies that have been recorded on the international public market since 1975, only Charles Hayoit’s one, sold by Sotheby’s Paris on the 29th June 2001 for over 33 000 fr., was printed on vellum paper.

Provenance: from Jean Meyer and Du Bourg de Bozas’ collections with their ex-libris.


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MERIMEE, Prosper.