LOVELY LIMITED EDITION OF MOLIÈRE’S WORKS, ILLUSTRATED BY LOUIS LELOIR, HANDSOMELY BOUND
MOLIÈRE, Jean Baptiste de. Théatre Complet de J.B. Poquelin de Moliere, Publie par D. Jouaust, Preface par M. D. Nisard, de l’Academie Francaise, Dessins de Louis Leloir, Graves a l’Eau-Forte par Flameng. Paris: Librairie des Bibliophiles, 1876-1883. Eight volumes. Royal octavo, contemporary three-quarter brown morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled boards and endpapers, top edges gilt, uncut. $2800.
Superb limited edition of Molière’s works in French, one of only 910 sets, illustrated with frontispiece portrait and 30 fine etchings after Louis Leloir, handsomely bound.
Molière has been hailed “not only as a great comic poet— certainly, with Rabelais, the greatest in French literature— but also as a strong theoretician of the comic who was in perfect control of his work from beginning to end… ‘No individual work, perhaps, can be properly understood in isolation from the whole, any more than one movement of a sonata can stand apart from the whole sonata” (Hollier, 336). This splendid edition is publisher Jouaust’s “most ambitious undertaking,” and the illustrations by Louis Leloir are claimed to possess “both ‘historical exactitude’ and a ‘modern touch,… a striking example of the profuse extra-illustration favored at the time” (Ray, 364). The etchings made from Leloir’s drawings were executed by the premier French engraver of the time, Léopold Flameng. Text in French.
Occasional stray spots of foxing. A lovely set in about-fine condition.