“…THOUGH THE TRANSLATOR HOPE AGAINST HOPE FOR THIS RESULT”: LIMITED LARGE PAPER EDITION OF THE DEAD LEMAN, SUPERNATURAL SHORT FICTION BY BALZAC, TOLSTOY AND OTHERS, CO-EDITED BY ANDREW LANG
LANG, Andrew. The Dead Leman and Other Tales from the French. London: Swan Sonnenschein, 1889. Quarto, original black cloth gilt rebacked with original spine laid down, top edge gilt, uncut, housed in a custom chemise and half morocco slipcase. $600.
Large paper edition, number 39 of only 50 copies, of this anthology of French short stories of the supernatural in tranlsation, designed to cultivate a greater appreciation of the form among Victorian readers.
Hoping to introduce more English readers to the joys of short fiction, Lang—best known for The Blue Fairy Book and subsequent anthologies of tales for children—and co-editor Sylvester present seven stories translated from French that highlight “motives and situations, both serious and ludicrous, which the British author must avoid… It is not probable that the stories in this little collection will win many English readers to an affection for the conte, though the translators hope against hope for this result” (Introduction). Contains the following tales of the supernatural and strange: “The Dead Leman” (Thèophile Gautier), “How We Took the Redoubt” (Prosper Mérimée), “The Taper” (Léon Tolstoi [Leo Tolstoy]), “These Lots to be Sold” (Edmond About), “A Conversion” (Th. Bentzon), “The Etruscan Vase” (Mérimée) and “The Doctor’s Story” (Honoré de Balzac).
Endpapers and original cloth with extremities expertly restored. An extremely good copy.