“ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL LITERARY FRENCHMEN OF HIS TIME”: LIMITED FIRST EDITION OF CLARETIE’S LA CANNE DE M. MICHELET, 1886, ONE OF ONLY 150 COPIES, WITH A WATERCOLOR AND ENGRAVINGS BY JAZET
CLARETIE, Jules. La Canne de M. Michelet. Promenades et Souvenires. Paris: Librairie L. Conquet, 1886. Octavo, contemporary full crushed red morocco gilt, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, raised bands, blue morocco doublures, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $1850.
Limited first edition, number 133 of only 150 copies printed on Japon paper (1000 copies total), this handsome wide-margined copy containing a frontispiece portrait of Claretie, a wonderful watercolor on the half title by Paul-Léon Jazet and 12 full-page engravings in two states by Toussaint after Jazet, with original wrappers bound in, beautifully bound in rich red morocco gilt.
Highly respected historian, critic and playwright Jules Claretie was “one of the most successful literary Frenchmen of his time” (New York Times). Claretie earned fame during the Franco-German War when “he sent a series of remarkable letters to the Rappel and Opinion Nationale” (Chambers, 278). These writings and his experiences in the war became the foundation for La Canne de M. Michelet (The Walking Cane of Michelet). Claretie’s title pays tribute to the influential work of Jules Michelet, whose masterful Histoire de France took 30 years to complete. Following the Franco-German War Claretie was appointed Director of the Comêdie Francaise and served in that position until his death in 1913. This limited first edition, one of only 150 copies printed on Japon paper, is especially memorable for its beautiful watercolor on the half title, created especially for this volume, and 12 full-page engravings (with an extra suite of plates) by artist Paul-Léon Jazet, famed for his battle scenes and portraits. Plates by award-winning engraver Henri Toussaint after Jazet. With a frontispiece portrait of Claretie; original wrappers bound in. Text in French. See Benezit, 48, 251.
Joints expertly reinforced. A fine copy of this handsomely illustrated French history.