Paris, Madame Charles-Béchet, 1835.
8vo [217 x 146 mm] of 361 pp., (7) pp. preserved as sewed (or : preserved in paperback?), untrimmed.
Rare copy on coloured paper, sewed, with all margins, with its original cover.
Vicaire I, p. 196 ; Clouzot p. 21 ; Carteret, I, 68-69; Talvart, I, 153.
Contemporary binding of La Fleur des Pois.
This is one of the very rare copies on coloured paper, this one on beige paper.
Of the twelve volumes of the Etudes de mœurs “some copies have been printed on coloured paper, which are found separately and are highly sought after” (Clouzot).
La Fleur des Pois:
Le Contrat de mariage, under its original title La Fleur des Pois was conceived, written, composed, corrected, printed and put on sale between August and November 1835. The manuscript and proofs are preserved in the Lovenjoul collection. The conception of the work dates from August 1835, according to the letter of 24 August to Madame Hanska, which contains the first written trace of the author’s intention. La Revue étrangère de Saint-Pétersbourg published the good sheets between October and December 1835.
The original edition is published by Madame Charles-Béchet. A second edition was published by Charpentier in 1839.
Bored with Parisian life and the courts of Europe, Count Paul de Manerville returns to his native province, Bordeaux, with the intention of marrying and leading a gentlemanly life. “La Fleur des Pois” was the nickname given to the dandy Paul de Manerville on his arrival in Bordeaux. He soon falls in love with the most fashionable girl in town, Natalie Evangelista, whose father was once very rich. He soon asks for her hand in marriage but soon discovers that Mrs Evangelista is trying, with the complicity of her daughter, to steal his fortune.
La Paix du ménage :
The complete manuscript is kept in the Lovenjoul Library. It is one of Balzac’s earliest texts after Les Chouans and the Physiologie du mariage. The original edition dates from April 1830, the second from 1832. This is the third edition before the entry in La Comédie humaine in 1842.
This short novel is placed by Balzac himself under the double sign of “brilliance” and rapidity of action: this “little imbroglio”, this “little drama” takes place in barely an hour, during a grand ball given under the Empire, at the home of the Count of Gondreville. Disregard for the future leads to a passion for luxury and unrequited love. An unknown woman, a “little blue lady”, attracts the eyes of the Count of Montcornet and Baron Martial de La Roche-Hugon with her beauty. The two seducers indulge in cynical gambling.
Precious and rare copy on coloured paper, sewed, with all margins, with its original cover.