BERNARDIN DE SAINT-PIERRE'S PAUL AND VIRGINIA, BEAUTIFULLY BOUND AND ILLUSTRATED
BERNARDIN DE SAINT-PIERRE, Jaques-Henri. Paul and Virginia. London: W.S. Orr, 1839. Small quarto, later full tan calf gilt, elaborately gilt-tooled spine, green morocco spine label, raised bands, gilt dentelles, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, uncut. $850.
Later edition, beautifully bound by Rivière, profusely illustrated with 330 engravings after the works of famous artists, such as Meissonier, Johannot, and Francais, 30 of which are engraved plates, including frontispiece and vignette half-title.
Paul et Virginie, the story by which Bernardin is chiefly remembered, first appeared in the 1787 edition of his Études de la Nature. The Études, “depicting natural scenes and arguing from their order and harmony against atheism, [was] a pioneer work in the literature of the picturesque, [and] brought him fame and profit.” Bernardin “wrote in a rich, supple, and attractive style, and some of his descriptions of natural scenes have great charm… His pictures of the sea and tropical landscapes were a novelty in French literature” (Harvey & Heseltine, 64). Text in English.
A near-fine copy, beautifully bound.