“THE PERFECT MIRROR OF PENITENCE”
CHATEAUBRIAND, Francois-Rene Vicomte de. Vie de Rancé. Paris: Collection Adolphe Bordes, 1920. Square octavo, contemporary three-quarter brown morocco, raised bands, marbled endpapers, uncut; original printed paper wrappers bound in. $350.
Lovely illustrated edition of Chateaubriand’s biography of of the 17th-century Abbott Rancé of the monastery of La Trappe, with portraits and vignettes by Perrichon. This copy number 37 of only 400 printed on Vergé Lafuma, a fine uncut copy with original wrappers bound in.
Under Rancé's direction, the abbey of La Trappe "soon became a center of spiritual life (frequented by such men as Bossuet) and noted for the extreme austerity of its rules, enjoining almost perpetual silence and heavy manual labor" (Reid, 628). Chateaubriand was one of the great precursors of Romanticism, and "a lasting influence on French literature. His style, too, was of great influence, rhythmic and flowing, evocative of the poetry, color, and harmonies of the scenes he described" (Harvey & Heseltine, 126). First published in 1844. From a total edition of 1530. Text in French.
Fine condition, handsomely bound.