Paris, Hippolyte Souverain, 1843.
Two volumes 8vo [217 x 134 mm] of : I/ 355 pp. ; II/ (2) ll., 325 pp. Some rare wormhole.
Half blond calf, spine ribbed, red and green morocco label and volume number, top edges gilt. Contemporary binding.
First edition dedicated to Georges Sand.
Carteret, I, 78; Talvart, Bibliographie des auteurs modernes, I, 161; Clouzot, 30; Vicaire, Manuel de l’amateur, I, 218.
This text, highly original in Balzac’s work, is one of the few composed in the form of a correspondence between two friends.
“This novel by Honoré de Balzac, which is part of the ‘Scènes de la vie privée’, is a very detailed study of two women’s characters who reveal themselves through the correspondence they exchange, which is completed by the letters of various characters. (Dictionary of Works, IV, 478).
Balzac explains this in the preface.
“The publication of a correspondence, something quite unusual for nearly forty years, this mode so true of thought on which most of the literary fictions of the eighteenth century were based, required today the greatest precautions. The heart is prolix. Everyone will approve of the change of names, a deference due to people who come from historic homes in two countries.
This correspondence, which is at odds with the lively and endearing compositions of our era, so in love with drama, and which momentarily makes do with style, provided it is moved, requires a certain indulgence. It naturally places itself under the protection of selected readers, rare today, and whose tendencies of mind are in some way contrary to those of their time”.
Our copy is the only one quoted by Carteret.
Precious exemplaire, immense of margins, with many untrimmed edges, the only one cited by Carteret (Le Trésor du Bibliophile, I, page 78) and one of the extremely rare with titles dated 1843.
Provenance: H. Destailleur and Pierre Duché with ex libris.