Paris, Veuve Barbin, 1707.
12mo of (5) ll. including 1 engraved frontispiece, 318 pp. wrongly numbered 314, (4) ll. 1 portrait of Le Sage added at the beginning of the volume. Red morocco, triple gilt fillet around the covers, decorated ribbed spine with a repeated monogram, gilt edges. Trautz-Bauzonnet.
158 x 89 mm.
Extremely rare first edition of the famous novel by Le Sage (1668-1747), inspired by Spanish picaresque literature (with cancel on pages 17-18).
Le Petit 481; Tchemerzine, IV, 172-173; Cohen 628.
“Copies of this first edition are extremely rare“, says Tchemerzine.
In 1707, Le Sage borrowed “the title and idea” of Le Diable boiteux from Luiz Vélez de Guevara, writing a free imitation, appropriate to French mores, of El Diablo cojuelo, published in 1641.
It was with Le Diable boiteux that Le Sage established himself as a novelist of the first order. The novel’s considerable success finally put Le Sage’s name on the map among the writers of his time.
“What is perpetuated in Le Sage’s work is the taste for portraiture, more physical than moral, which he lovingly contemplates and caresses in all its details. But whereas La Bruyère confines himself to drawing a few sober lines, with an essentially moralizing intention, in Le Sage’s work, on the contrary, a very different interest dominates: the love of the picturesque, the purely artistic love of reality contemplated in its most colorful and lively aspects; this tendency to observe the world of our fellow human beings is linked to a long tradition of the Gallic spirit; first expressed in the fabliaux and “Chroniques” of Froissart, it was later to find its culmination and crowning achievement in the work of Balzac. It is this turn of mind that gives “Le Diable Boiteux” its full meaning and value”
The first printing of the present edition features a frontispiece by Magdeleine Hortbemels.
A very fine copy of this classic of French literature from the library of Count Roger Du Nord with his monogram on the spine, who had Trautz-Bauzonnet insert the interlaced cipher LM from the original brown morocco binding attributed to Louis, Duc de Mortemart (1681-1746) on the doublures.
The library of Count Roger du Nord was sold at the Hôtel des commissaires-priseurs, 7 rue Drouot, salle 3, from Monday April 28 to Tuesday May 6, 1884. Most of the bindings in this library bear the monogram of Count Roger du Nord on the spine and covers.