“NOTHING BEAUTIFUL IS INDISPENSABLE TO LIFE”
GAUTIER, Theophile. Mademoiselle de Maupin. Paris: Privately Printed, circa 1900. Thick quarto, early 20th-century three-quarter brown pebbled calf gilt, raised bands, marbled boards and endpapers, top edge gilt, uncut and partially unopened. $700.
Large-paper edition in English, with engraved title page and 18 intricate full-page photogravures after paintings by Edouard Toudouze.
Baudelaire dedicated Les Fleurs du Mal to him in 1857. Mallarmé also proved “himself to be a faithful disciple of Gautier” (Hollier, 744). Intended to scandalize the French literary scene, Gautier’s novel explores a romantic triangle between two women and a man. Tellingly, his lyrical preface crystallized the trend toward l’art pour l’art by declaring its antiutilitarian desire to free art from the everyday. “I have a firm conviction,” he wrote in his Preface, “that the ode is a garment too light for winter.”
A few plates loose, rubbing to extremities. An extremely good copy.