Illustration & Editing

Romanticist and Avant-Garde editions of works by earlier writers, whose reputations or legacies the avant-garde wished to resurrect or re-frame through scholarship, illustration, and presentation.

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Miguel de Cervantes, The History of Don Quixote. Trans. J.W. Clark, Illust. Gustave Doré. Undated, early 20th Century. The Hogarth Press: New York. Hardcover quarto, 855 pp.

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François Fénelon, Aventures de Télémaque. Illustrated by Célestin Nanteuil & Baron. 1840. Romans, Contes et nouvelles illustres Series, Gustave Havard, Paris. Unbound quarto, 88 p.


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Jean La Fontaine, Contes et Nouvelles (Tales and novellas). Illustrated by Tony Johannot, Camille Roqueplan, Achille[?] Devéria, [Louis?]C. Boulanger, Janet-Lange, et. al. Ernest Bourdin, Paris. 1839. Quarterbound octavo, 534 pp.






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Romanticist illustrated edition of the 18th Century libertine writer.

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John Milton, Paradise Lost. Illustrated by Gustave Doré. 1894. Cassell & Co., London.

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Évariste de Parny, Oevres: Elégies et Poésies Diverses (Works: Elegies and Diverse Poems). Preface by Charles Sainte-Beuve. 1862. Garnier Frères, Paris. 

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Parny, who wrote from the 1770s until his death in 1814, is one of the writers most consistently claimed by the Romanticists as their direct forebears. In the first part of his career he was instrumental in reviving various lyric forms that had been proscribed in France for generations, in particular the sentimental and melancholy elegies that would be taken up first by Chateaubriand and Lamartine, and later among the Romanticist avant-garde by Nerval, O'Neddy, Musset, Béranger (see "Literature"), Alphonse Brot, and others, while Pushkin cited him as a major influence on Russian Romanticism. His 1787 Songs of Madagascar laid the foundations of the prose-poem, which would be built upon by Aloysius Bertrand and developed as indicated in Merrill's Pastels in Prose anthology (see "Anthologies"). Soon after the beginning of the 19th Century, Parny shifted into social satire and burlesque, attacking the Church and state. His anti-clerical poem The War of the Gods was banned by the French government 13 years after his death, but circulated through the Romanticist community in bootleg editions. This edition is prefaced by Charles Saint-Beuve, co-founder of the Liberal-Romanticist Globe group and, as a key member of the Cénacle group, one of the major architects of the Romanticist revolution. This volume focuses on the elegies rather than the satires, possibly because publishing the satires would have highly dangerous under the totalitarian regime of Napoleon III, now seven years into his reign.

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François Rabelais, Oeuvres. ed. and w/Introduction by Bibliophile Jacob (aka Paul Lacroix). 1843. Charpentier, Paris.


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When the French Romanticists began re-examining the Middle Ages as part of their historiographic re-invention of the European literary tradition, the late Medieval satirist (and lapsed monk) François Rabelais was foremost among these ‘resurrections’. His dizzying mix of low-brow gutter comedy with intensely intellectual humour, freewheeling linguistic experimentation with old-fashioned bawdy storytelling, biting social satire with utter absurdity, transformed the Romantics’ conception of what literature could be. It provided the bulwark for the Romanticist concept of the ‘Grotesque’, and an example of the protean presence of irony throughout the productions, and lifestyles, of the movement. Since this time Rabelais has been a constant influence on the avant-garde, from Gautier to Lautréamont to Jarry to the Incoherents to the Dadas and Surrealists and on to the present day. Among the most assiduous in resurrecting Rabelais’ corpus was the Romanticist writer, bibliographer, historian, editor Paul Lacroix, a.k.a. Bibliophile Jacob. Along with Nodier (see "Literature"), Lacroix/Jacob was the leading bibliographer and literary researcher of the first generation avant-garde, and his short stories about antiquarian and bibliographic subculture are still republished today in small editions for bibliographic clubs (see "Literature"). As Lacroix, he compiled and wrote a series of groundbreaking histories of everyday life in Medieval France, illustrated with hundreds of reproductions of Medieval artifacts, illuminations; some of these were co-edited with his brother-in-law, Jean Duseigneur (aka Jehan Du Seigneur) of the Petit-Cénacle group. For this edition of Rabelais’ complete works, put out by the Romanticist publisher Charpentier, Jacob scoured the archives of Paris for unpublished manuscripts or lost writings of Rabelais, tracked down some of Rabelais’ many now-obscure references and jokes (a process which scholars are still attempting to complete), and wrote one of the first comprehensive biographies of the writer.

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Alain-René Le Sage, Le Diable Boiteux (The Devil's Two Sticks). 1840. Illustrated by Tony Johannot, Introduction by Jules Janin. Ernest Bourdin, Paris. Hard-bound octavo, 377 pp.



 Inside front cover (detatched) w/bookplate

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The comedy writer Le Sage was—along with Moliére, Chenier, and Crébillon—a mainstay of the Romantics' alternate canon of the 18th Century. His importance to the community is evidenced by this beautiful Romanticist edition of his play The Devil's Two Sticks lavishly illustrated by the satirist Tony Johannot (a close friend and collaborator of Célestin Nanteuil (see "Lithographs & Etchings) and others in the avant-garde) and introduced by a long biographical and critical preface by Jules Janin—ironically one of the outspoken enemies of the Bouzingo within Romanticism itself. Janin considers at some length Le Sage's ambiguous status in the dominant canon; his plays which were appreciated in their performances for the Royal Court in Versailles were excoriated or ignored by the audiences in Paris; while his popular successes were condemned by the Court, so that he remained, until the Romantics, a footnote of recent theatrical history.
 
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Tasso, Jérusalem Délivrée (Jerusalem Delivered). Trans. Prince le Brun. Illustrated by Célestin Nantueil. 1848. Bibliothèque littéraire de la jeunesse; P.-C. Lehuby, Libraire-éditeur, Paris.



 
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Romans, ed. Gustave Barba & J. Bry Ainé. (Undated, c. 1849-1855) Personally selected & bound volume of novellas from Romans populaires illustrés, Veillées litteraires illustrées, Illustrations littéraires, Pantheon populaire illustrée, and Oeuvres illustrées de Balzac series: Alphonse Esquiros (see 'Historiography'), Charlotte Corday; Henri de Lacretelle, Le Dernier roi (The Last King), illust. Célestin Nanteuil; Honoré de Balzac, La Recherche de l'absolu (The Search for the Absolute) & Un Épisode sous la terreur (An Episode Under the Terror), title-tableau by Célestin Nanteuil, illust. Tony Johannot (see 'Illustration & Editing' for both), Henri Monnier (see "Biographies & Monographs), Bertall, E. Lampsonius & others; Captain Marryat, Pierre Simple & Japhet, illust. Bertall; Louis Garneray, Captivité de Garneray--Neuf années en angleterre: Mes Pontons (My Pontoons), illust. Louis Garneray & Janet-Lange; Paul de Kock, La Pucelle de Belleville (The Maiden of Belleville), illust. Bertall; de Kock, Les Mésaventures d'un anglais (The Misadventures of an Englishman) & Petits tableaux de moeurs (Little Picture of Customs); and Paul Féval, Le Banquier de cire (The Waxen Banker), illust. E. Forest.
Hardbound Folio, 430 pp. Handwritten Table of Contents by 19th Century owner on back flyleaf.


From the late 1840s through the mid-1850s, several popular series of illustrated novels--all using the same format and pricing--competed for the expanding literary market. Produced for a mass readership, their illustrators were a combination of commercial hacks and respected Romanticist illustrators such as Nanteuil and Johannot who were increasingly forced to forego their own developed styles and experimentation in favour of the accepted style of popular vignettes, thus allowing publishers to combine images by multiple engravers and pump out more books more quickly. (See another set of Nanteuil's illustrations in the unbound copy from the Romans, Contes et nouvelles illustres Series above.)

This volume is probably one-of-a-kind and collects some of its first owners' personal favourites custom-bound into one book, with a hand-written table of contents on the back fly-leaf. It includes a heterogeneous mix of ten novellas, including one on the Revolutionary heroine Charlotte Corday by the Evadamiste socialist-occultist & friend of the Bouzingo Alphonse Esquiros (see his anthology of proletarian poetry in 'Anthologies') and prominent Romanticist novelist Balzac, an early Sci-Fi novel called The Last King illustrated (mostly) by ex-Bouzingo Célestin Nanteuil, and others illustrated by his frequent collaborators Johannot & Monnier. (See 'Illustration' and 'Monographs' for all three.)


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