BARBEY D’AUREVILLY, Jules. Memorandum.
Caen, Imprimerie A. Hardel, 1856.
Square 16mo [155 x 114 mm] of (2) ll., 107 pp. Bound in blue quarter-buckram, flat spine, red morocco lettering-piece. Untrimmed edges, blue printed wrappers preserved. Small restoration in the upper wrapper. Binding signed by Champs.
Rare first edition of this collection of memories by Barbey d’Aurevilly, of which only 36 copies were printed and which was not issued for sale.
Rahir, La Bibliothèque de l’amateur, 308; Vicaire, Manuel de l’amateur de livres du XIXe siècle, I, 297; Carteret, I, 108; Clouzot, 38.
The details concerning the edition announce: “Ce volume imprimé à petit nombre ne se vend pas [this volume has been printed in a small number and is not issued for sale]”.
This privately printed edition of those memories of a trip to Normandy was printed in 36 copies, only for the friends of the author, with wrappers of various shades and a few copies on Dutch paper.
On the wrapper and on the title-page we can see the monogram of Trebutien, Barbey’s friend who permitted the publication of this volume.
“Barbey had sent his first two ‘Memoranda’ to Trebutien in 1853, but the latter did not publish them. In 1856, Trebutien asked Barbey a third ‘Memorandum’, which, this one, will be published (privately printed edition) by the recipient himself, little time after its redaction, during a stay of Barbey in Caen. When Barbey leaves Caen, he gives to Trebutien an unfinished manuscript and completes it in Paris. Therefore this ‘Memorandum’ is written for Trebutien, explicit recipient, figuring at the beginning of the text, but with the aim of a publication, that was going to be distributed (36 copies), to friends. Here, Barbey writes here a travel diary since the writing chronologically coincides with his stay in Caen. Besides, Barbey writes a diary which applies the autobiographical style and the self portrait: this stay in Caen corresponds to an important biographical moment: Barbey has not gone back there since 1837, for almost twenty years. The diary will reveal memories, feelings he had … Besides, the diary presents in opposition the friendship towards Trebutien and the love for Madame de Bouglon (« l’Ange blanc »). Finally, this third ‘Memorandum’ is like a literary diary”. (Le texte autobiographique de Barbey d’Aurevilly de N. Dodille, pp. 115-117)
“The ‘Memorandum de Caen’ (1856), written at Trebutien’s request, expresses the beautiful and decisive experience of the return to Normandy, to family, race and faith. But it is also enlightened by the bright presence of the « White Angel », which at the time was not leaving the writer’s mind. It is with this woman that Barbey went to Port-Vendres in 1858, which was the occasion of a last less interesting ‘Memorandum’.” (Dictionnaire des Œuvres, IV, 498)
A precious wide-margined copy on Dutch paper, bound with the blue printed wrappers preserved.
Our researches allowed us to locate copies of this rare first edition in 4 French public Institutions: B.n.F., Bibliothèque J. Doucet in Paris, Libraries of Troyes and of Caen.