Paris, Dumont, 1844.
2 parts in 2 volumes 8vo [188 x 125 mm] of : I/ 331 pp. ; II/ 319 pp. Some very light spotting. Green shagreened half cloth, smooth spines decorated with gilt fillets, sprinkled edges. Contemporary binding.
Original edition “rare et precieuse” (Dirkx) of this novel by Balzac.
Carteret, I, 80; Clouzot P.24; Vicaire, I, 222.
This story had first appeared in serial form in 1842 in the magazine La Législature under the title Le Danger de la mystification.
It features Joseph Bridau, the painter of La Rabouilleuse, a pupil of Hippolyte Schinner. In this short story in three parts, the main character is a teenager, Oscar, who is ashamed of his poverty, and of his mother. He is at the age when one dreams of ‘making a career‘. Balzac skilfully maintains the suspense in a lively style that seems to defy the reproaches he could receive for his endless descriptions.
The starting point of the novel is a text written by his sister Laure Surville, published under Laure’s signature in 1854 under the title Voyage en coucou.
Balzac reworked this tale, transforming it into a more in-depth study.
He wrote this novel during one of his many visits to L’Isle-Adam.
It is difficult to find a copy of this original in an attractive contemporary binding.
An attractive copy of the first edition of this novel by Balzac, rare in this condition.