“FRANCE’S OUTSTANDING EPISTOLARIAN”
SEVIGNE, Madame de. The Letters of Madame de Sevigne. Philadelphia: J.P. Horn, 1927. Seven volumes. Octavo, contemporary three-quarter red morocco gilt, raised bands, top edges gilt, uncut and largely unopened. $2000.
“Carnavalet Edition” of Sevigne’s highly celebrated epistles, number 67 of 1550 sets, illustrated with 23 black-and-white plates and two folding letter facsimiles, beautifully bound.
In her delightful letters, primarily written to her daughter, Mme. de Sevigne describes domestic and courtly affairs in 17th-century France with wit, imagination and intelligence. Her correspondence endures for its freedom of expression and familiar style in an era of constraint and formality. "Literary critics quickly began to praise her 'singularity… and to propose her as France's outstanding epistolarian" (Hollier, 420). Thornton Wilder looked to Mme. de Sevigne for inspiration when creating the character of the Marquesa de Montemayor in his classic novel, The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927). This "Carnavalet Edition" includes an introduction by renowned book collector A. Edward Newton and has been "newly re-edited, revised and corrected, including over 300 letters not previously translated into English." With color printed title pages, 23 black-and-white plates (incluidng a frontispiece portrait in each volume) and folding letter facsimiles in Volumes I and III.
Light expert restoration to handsome morocco bindings. A lovely set.