BRILLAT-SAVARIN Physiologie du goût, ou Méditations de gastronomie transcendante ; ouvrage théorique, historique et à l’ordre du jour, Dédié aux Gastronomes parisiens. Par un professeur, membre de plusieurs sociétés savantes.


Rare first edition of the most important 19th century gastronomic treatise. Precious copy dedicated by the author.
Precious copy of this gastronomical first edition preserved in its elegant contemporary bindings.

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Paris, A. Sautelet et Cie, 1826.

2 parts in 2 volumes 8vo [204 x 123 mm] of: I/ half-title, XIV pp. including the title-page, the notice to the reader and the aphorisms and pp. 5 to 390; II/ 442 pp. Full tree sheepskin, flat spines finely decorated, red and black morocco lettering pieces, sprinkled edges. Contemporary binding.

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First edition of the most important 19th century gastronomic treatise.

Published with no author’s name, it was only printed in 500 copies at Brillat-Savarin’s own expense.

Vicaire, Bibliographie gastronomique, 116-121; Vicaire, Manuel de l’amateur des livres du XIXe siècle, 926-928; Carteret, pp. 146 to 148.

A copy from the very first issue, with the E on the word Bourse in the editor’s address printed horizontally on the title-page of the first part.

“The first edition of this book is rare”, emphasizes Carteret in his Trésor du Bibliophile.

This first edition was published anonymously because the author thought that this publication was incompatible with the seriousness of his magistrate function. The 27 following ones were printed with the author’s name.

This book is a true encyclopaedia: spirit, philosophy, humour, knowledge, aphorisms, psychology and above all, culinary chemistry called cooking.

This great gastronome was a magistrate and he had to leave France for Geneva, Lausanne and New York during the French Revolution. He then came back to France. Eating a lot out in town, writing this charming book about the physiology of taste started off as a joke.

This work has become a table’s classic, uncontested, full of verve and good mood”. (Carteret)

The famous aphorisms help understand how the writer deals with his subject: “The future of nations depends on the way they feed themselves” (III), “Tell me what you eat: I will tell you who you are” (IV), “Inviting someone, it’s taking care of his happiness for all the time he is under our roof” (XX)…

“Its interest comes from the thoughtlessness with which the various culinary questions are cleverly presented and from the constant irony that lightens this small text. The reflexions of the facetious author, about men and things, mingle with a continuous descriptive eloquence, which always remains very precise and evocative: we go from the “Théorie de la friture” to the digressions about culinary delights, from the “Histoire philosophique de la cuisine” to the anecdotes of “Variétés”. The aphorisms, famous for their uniqueness, help to understand how the writer deals with his subject and with what professorial accent he speaks to experts.” (Dictionnaire des Œuvres, V, p. 282).

“The reason of the quick success of the “Physiologie du gout” is in the savor of the style […] What mainly distinguishes Brillat’s work, is the comic underneath the good-nature”. (Biographie universelle, V, pp. 535 to 538).

Precious copy offered by the author and bearing this autograph dedication on the title of the first part: « Offert par l’auteur à M. Grépinet ».

Copies of this first edition with an autograph dedication are of the utmost rarity.

Precious copy of this gastronomical first edition preserved in its elegant contemporary bindings.

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