Paris, chez Persan, 1823.
4 parts in 4 volumes 12mo [180 x 108 mm]: I/ viii pp., 316 ; II and III/ (2) ff. and 237 pp. ; IV/ (2) ff., 347 pp. Handwritten ex libris repeated on the four title-pages. Bound in dark blue straight-grained half-morocco, gilt fillets around the morocco pieces, flat spines gilt and decorated, untrimmed, grey printed wrappers and spines bound in. Binding signed Mercier.
Rare first edition of Victor Hugo’s first novel.
Vicaire, IV, 236
« A kind article from Charles Nodier in « La Quotidienne » about « Han d’Islande » was the beginning of his relationship with Hugo and of the close friendship that followed. » (Carteret)
« The framed wrappers were printed on different papers, light grey and pink red; they bear no printer’s name. Plain wrappers with printed labels exist, that are more often to be found. Very rare work, especially with the printed wrappers bound in and much valued. » (Carteret, I, 390).
« The action takes place in an imaginary kingdom of Island, in the XVIIth century. A sanguinary bandit, Han d’Islande, terrorizes the population. His life is surrounded with dark legends […] We watch Han’s dark tragedy, bestial being, who lives alone with a bear and only drinks human blood […] This novel already shows hugo’s style : his violent contrasts where one can discern the never-ending battle between good and evil. han’s character achieves an unbelievable lyric power and makes this book one of the most significant documents of early romanticism ». (Dictionnaire des Œuvres, III, 347).
Precious copy finely bound by mercier with the rare light grey printed wrappers bound in.
Provenance : P. Villeboeuf with ex libris.