RESTIF DE LA BRETONNE, Nicolas Edme. La Vie de mon Père. Par l’Auteur du Paysan perverti.

Price : 4.500,00 

Original second edition "of the most famous of all Restif's books".

First edition of La Vie de mon Père by Restif de la Bretonne preserved in its contemporary binding.

1 in stock

SKU: LCS-18390 Categories: ,

Neufchatel, et se trouve à Paris, chez Humblot, 1779.

Two parts in 1volume 12mo of (3) ll. 152 pp., 7 engravings ; 139 pp., (3) pp., 7 engravings, pp. 21-22 erroneously bound after p. 38. Quarter-roan, flat spine, straight-grained red morocco lettering-piece. Contemporary binding.

161 x 93 mm.

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Original second edition “of the most famous of Restif’s books” (Dictionnaire des Œuvres).
Rive Childs, 249; Lacroix, pp. 152-154; Cohen, 501; Pichon, 3426; Bulletin Morgand et Fatout, 5243 and 9533; Sander, 1713.

Although Rives Childs considers this to be a second edition, it is in fact a second issue virtually identical to the first, with the same engravings.

It features 14 full-page out-of-text engravings and 2 medallion portraits of the author’s father and mother, on the title of each part.

Considered by its author to be the most valuable work he ever produced, this lively biography of Restif’s father remains one of the most accurate depictions of the peasant condition shortly before the Revolution, and an excellent source of information on rural France in the eighteenth century.
The author recounts the work and days of Edmé Restif (1692- 1764), a Burgundian ploughman, with great freshness of style The sensitive tone adopted by the author was so in tune with current tastes that it was a success.

Set against the backdrop of France in the last century of the Ancien Régime, Restif brings to life an unforgettable figure of a peasant revered by his fellow citizens, the villagers of Sacy. This is Restif at his best, with the fluency and coloring of a born writer. It is at once a monument to his father by a son reproaching himself, without really believing it, for having strayed from the law by abandoning the land, a document on peasant life and an evocation of a family cocoon, a patriarchal community and the land of his childhood. (Dictionary of Works).

Here’s what Restif has to say about it: “This work, the most esteemed of mine and the one that has had the most general success, was inspired to me all of a sudden, while finishing the printing of the ‘Nouvel Abeilard’, on which I had been working tirelessly, I put pen to paper with ardor and wrote it all at once, for I was occupied with nothing else, as long as the printing lasted.” (Mes ouvrages, p. 149).

“It was of this little work composed in 1778 that a man in authority said: ‘I would like the Ministry to print a hundred thousand of these little parts to distribute them free of charge to all village chiefs'” (Revue des ouvrages, p. CLXXXV).

The Journal de Paris (Wednesday, March 24, 1779) had given the highest praise to La Vie de mon père: “This new production by Restif de la Bretonne seems to us to be above everything else he has published, as much for the choice of subject as for the usefulness, simplicity, one might even say the grandeur of the sentiments. Everything is natural, interesting and true »

A copy complete with all its engravings, preserved in its contemporary binding.

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Neufchatel, et se trouve à Paris, chez Humblot, 1779.