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Le Chevalier Des Touches
In-12º of 2 ff.n.ch. (false-title and title), 282 pp, 1 f.n.ch. table. bound in full green morocco signed Semet & Plumelle, spine with 5 nerves finely decorated with multiple gilt and dotted fillets with fleurons in the corners, boards decorated with two triple framings of gilt fillets with gilt fleurons in the corners, gilt fillet on the edges, large gilt lace and gilt rollers inside, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt; in a half-bound hard slipcase with green morocco overlapping bands with brown felt interior, spine with false raised bands with title in gilt letters and date at the end, the whole in a marbled case with matching green morocco opening and brown felt interior, covers and spine preserved (spine slightly faded).
First edition "One of the author's masterpieces" (Carteret I, p.109) Started in 1852, this historical novel on the Norman chouannerie was published as a serial in 1863 in the newspaper "Nain jaune" before appearing in volume the following year with Michel Lévy. This work was part of Barbey d'Aurevilly's (1808-1889) vast project to write several novels devoted to the Chouannerie, which he would group together under the general title Ouest, a project that never saw the light of day. The work is dedicated to his father. Copy in perfect condition, with green covers and spine preserved, in a beautiful green morocco binding signed Semet & Plumelle (Marcellin Semet bookbinder and Georges Plumelle gilder worked together from 1925 to 1955).
Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly (1808-1889) is a representative French writer of the second half of the 19th century. He is a novelist, short story writer, essayist, poet, literary critic, journalist, dandy and polemicist. His work is influenced by a strong criticism of modernity and an impregnation of Catholicism marked by the question of evil and sin.
Alongside his polemical texts are also his novels and short stories characterized by a mixture of elements of late romanticism such as frenzy, fantasy or supernaturalism, a certain historical realism, symbolism and decadence.
The reception of his work was divided among the writers of the time. On the one hand hailed by Baudelaire and if several writers praised his extravagant talent and on the other hand not appreciated by Hugo, Flaubert and Zola. His "heirs" are Léon Bloy, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Octave Mirbeau or Paul Bourget and his vision of Catholicism has had a profound influence on the work of Bernanos.