In a fitted box. Green cloth binding with gilt title on the spine.
F.B.A. provides an in-depth photographic presentation of this item to stimulate your feeling and touch. More traditional book descriptions are immediately available.
Now a very rare Folio book
‘A picture of life in Paris.’ Classic French 19th century novel of love and sexual jealousy, rumoured to have been written as a warning to his sons. Translation by Eithne Wilkins.
Daudet was born in Nîmes, France. His family, on both sides, belonged to the bourgeoisie. His father, Vincent Daudet, was a silk manufacturer — a man dogged through life by misfortune and failure. Alphonse, amid much truancy, had a depressing boyhood. In 1856 he left Lyon, where his school days had been mainly spent, and began his career as a schoolteacher at Alès, Gard, in the south of France. The position proved to be intolerable and Daudet said later that for months after leaving Alès he would wake with horror, thinking he was still among his unruly pupils. These experiences and others were reflected in his novel Le Petit Chose.
On 1 November 1857, he abandoned teaching and took refuge with his brother Ernest Daudet, only some three years his senior, who was trying, “and thereto soberly,” to make a living as a journalist in Paris. Alphonse took to writing, and his poems were collected into a small volume, Les Amoureuses (1858), which met with a fair reception. He obtained employment on Le Figaro, then under Cartier de Villemessant’s energetic editorship, wrote two or three plays, and began to be recognized in literary communities as possessing distinction and promise. Morny, Napoleon III’s all-powerful minister, appointed him to be one of his secretaries — a post which he held till Morny’s death in 1865.
Psychologically, Daudet represents a synthesis of conflicting elements, and his actual experience of life at every social level and in the course of travels helped to develop his natural gifts. A true man of the south of France, he combined an understanding of passion with a view of the world illuminated by Mediterranean sunlight and allowed himself unfettered flights of the imagination without ever relaxing his attention to the detail of human behavior. All his life he recorded his observations of other people in little notebooks, which he used as a reservoir of inspiration: a novel, he held, should be “the history of people who will never have any history.” Yet there was nothing unfeeling in his approach (he has even been accused of sentimentality), and he was free from preconceived ideas: unlike his fellow naturalists, he believed that the world in its diversity was misrepresented by novelists who concentrated only on its uglier aspects.
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