Paris, Levavasseur et Urbain Canel, 1830.
2 parts in 2 8vo volumes of : I/xxxv pp., (2) ll., 328 pp (ill-numbered 332).; II/ 352 pp. Passages crossed out in ink pp. 86 and 107 of volume 1, pp. 239 and 241 of volume 2 torn without loss. Cherry red half-calf, flat spine decorated lengthwise, marbled edges. Contemporary binding signed by Ledoux.
200 x 128 mm.
First edition « rare and sought-after » (Clouzot, p. 19) which may be considered as the first of Balzac’s works if one overlooks the series of his early works which for that matter were published under pseudonyms.
Carteret, I, p.58 ; Destailleur, 1363.
“The tone of the ‘Physiologie’ is extremely different from the one in the first works of the ‘Human Comedy’, Balzac wants to be brilliant, spiritual, paradoxical; he obviously aims at becoming a popular writer. In a mischievous introduction, the author explains the genesis of his work.
Balzac was induced to meditate on this subject because of words pronounced by Napoleon about marriage in front of the Council of State, during a discussion that preceded the drafting of the “Code civil”.
“There is an incoherent enigmatic typographic composition in volume II, Meditation XXV, 1st chapter, at the fifth line, pages 207 to 210; it is some kind of fantasy, in Sterne’s style, and Balzac gives an explanation full of humor, volume II, page 347.” (Carteret, I, p.58)
Clouzot indicates that most of the time this book is poorly contemporary bound.
A precious copy preserved in its contemporary signed binding, which an extremely rare condition.