Paris, Michel Lévy, 1870.
2 volumes large 8vo [227 x 149 mm] of: I/ (2) ll., 427 pp.; II/ (2) ll., 331 pp. (catalogue of the editor). Bound in light-brown quarter-morocco, spines ribbed and decorated, untrimmed, top edge gilt, original blue wrappers and spine bound in. Contemporary binding signed Marius Magnin.
Vicaire, Manuel de l’amateur de livres du XIXe siècle, 726.
Story of a young man, started at the end of 1863 and written from September 1864 to May 1869, “L’Education sentimentale” was published in November 1869. Even though it is full of autobiographical details, the work has nothing in common with the youth novel written under this title in 1845.
The enchantress presence of Madame Arnoux who is predominant in the entire work as Madame Schlesinger was in Flaubert’s thoughts, makes most certainly this novel an indisputable testimony on the writer’s sentimental life, with the interferences and the cross reference between dream and reality that this work is the bitter and burning fruit of. Woven with real and imaginary “The Education” is also the moral story of men who lived under the July Monarchy, and the evocation of all the Parisian life of the fifth decade of the XIXth century, this political and social ferment that led to the Revolution of 1848 and the coup d’état.
« How not to recognize today in this archetypal Flaubert-type book and this Goethe-like work by its scope, one of the major books of modern literature, which has seen, afterwards, so many copies of this melancholic hero. Some pages as the ones describing the encounter of the two lovers, at the end of the novel, are among the purest and most lyric of all Flaubert work. »
A fine wide-margined copy, with some untrimmed edges, preserved in its elegant contemporary bindings with the original blue wrappers bound in.