Paris, Eugène et Victor Penaud, 1849-1850.
12 volumes 8vo [198 x 127 mm] of: I/ (2) ll., xvi pp., 380 pp.,; II/ (2) ll., 364 pp. (wrongly numbered 164); III/ (2) ll., 384 pp.; IV/ (2) ll., 368 pp., V/ (2) ll., 463 pp. ; VI/ (2) ll., 468 pp.; VII/ (2) ll., 488 pp.; VIII/ (2) ll., 527 pp.; IX/ (2) ll., 424 pp.; X/ (2) ll., 495 pp.; XI/ (2) ll., 508 pp.; XI/ (2) ll., 414 pp., (1) l. of table. Some foxing. Blue quarter-calf, green covers, flat spines with rococo decoration, initials “B. L” gilt-stamped at the bottom of the spines, mottled edges. Contemporary binding.
Carteret, I, 163.
Precious copy from the first issue, containing the notice, the subscribers’ list and the Letter of Chateaubriand that were removed when the remaining copies of the edition passed into the hands of the publisher Dion-Lambert.
One knows that Chateaubriand mortgaged his tomb by selling his Memoirs upon a life annuity of 12 000 F.
Chateaubriand’s Autobiographic masterpiece, intended by the author to be published only after his death, the Memoirs from Beyond the Grave, will start being published in serials, three months after the death of Chateaubriand, occurred in July 1848.
In July 1817, in the park of the Castle of Montboissier, the song of a bird wakes up in him childhood memories: “Je fus tiré de mes réflexions par le gazouillement d’une grive perchée sur la plus haute branche d’un bouleau. A l’instant, ce son magique fit reparaître à mes yeux le domaine paternel; transporté subitement dans le passé, je revis ces campagnes où j’entendis si souvent siffler la grive…“
An autobiographic monument intended to transcend his life into fate, the Memoirs that occupied Chateaubriand for half a century also enable the visionary writer to bring distant ages of the History closer, to enlighten them.
« Je me suis rencontré entre deux siècles comme au confluent de deux fleuves ».
A unique work with an extraordinary diverse style written in full romanticism, The Memoirs, living tomb left by Chateaubriand for posterity, are shaped by this subtle alchemy mixing the real with the imaginary, the psychological investigation with admirable portraits and descriptions of landscapes that are among the most beautiful of our entire literature.
“One of the most important texts of French literature in the 19th century. Copies are more and more sought-after. This book is very difficult to find in beautiful contemporary bindings.” (Clouzot, Guide du bibliophile Français, 66).
Precious copy of Chateaubriand’s major work, preserved in its elegant contemporary bindings with provenance, a rare condition.
Provenance: initials B.L. gilt-stamped at the bottom of the spines and stamp on the titles.