VERLAINE’S ROMANCES SANS PAROLES, 1921, WITH LOVELY HAND-COLORED ILLUSTRATIONS
VERLAINE, Paul. Romances sans Paroles. Paris: A. Ferroud—F. Ferroud, Successeur, 1921. 12mo, original printed self-wrappers. $250.
Fine illustrated edition of this intriguing collection depicting Verlaine’s infatuation and tempestuous relationship with Arthur Rimbaud, number 1277 of only 1500 copies, with 28 lovely hand-colored vignette illustrations by Léon Lebègue.
Verlaine penned his short collection of lyrics between 1872 and 1873, during his notorious year-long sojourn with his muse Arthur Rimbaud. The poems veer between nostalgically colored recollections of his life with his wife Mathilde—whom he abandoned to travel with the younger poet—and impressionistic sketches of his current escapade with Rimbaud. Romances sans Paroles was published in 1874, during Verlaine's imprisonment for shooting and injuring Rimbaud in a drunken, jealous rage. "Verlaine wrote some of the finest and most musical lyrics in the French language… [and] had a considerable influence on French prosody. He did not countenance all the Symbolist innovations, such as le vers libre, but chose at most to employ the freed alexandrine" (Harvey & Heseltine, 738-39).
Fine condition. A lovely illustrated volume, in original wrappers.