Nouvelle Héloïse

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Rousseau, Jean-Jacques
La Nouvelle Héloïse,

13, 500 

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La Nouvelle-Héloïse of the comtesse de Provence.

Very rare edition partly first of Rousseau’s first great work.

A beautiful and precious copy, with wide margins,
printed on Dutch paper, preserved in its contemporary armorial binding.

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. La Nouvelle Héloise, ou Lettres de deux Amans, Habitans d’une petite Ville au pied des Alpes ; recueillies et publiées par J.-J. Rousseau.
Genève, 1780.

4 volumes 8vo [194 x 121 mm] of: I/ 1 portrait, (2) ll., LXII and 355 pp., 4 figures; II/ (2) ll., 464 pp. and 3 figures ; III/ (2) ll., 419 pp. and 3 figures ; IV/ (2) ll., 383 pp. and 3 figures.

Porphyry calf, triple gilt fillets around the covers, arms stamped in gilt in the center, flat spine in decorated red morocco, lettering pieces in green morocco, gilt fillet on leading edges, inner gilt roll-stamp, gilt edges. Contemporary binding.

Very rare edition partly first of La Nouvelle Héloïse including a text, Les Amours de Milord Edouard Bomston, here published for the first time.

It remained unknown to Dufour.

The copy was enriched at the time with a portrait of the author engraved by Dupréel according to La Tour and 13 figures by Moreau le Jeune engraved by Dupréel, Delignon et Thomas.

“A renowned novel, much read as soon as it was published, reprinted many times since and known for its simple title: La Nouvelle Héloïse.” (Le Petit, 560-562)

Daniel Mornet has shown that this beautiful edition had been established according to the Duchesne edition copy amended by Rousseau that belonged to Coindet. The fourth volume contains in first edition the extract of the Amours de Milord Édouard Bomston (pp. 350-376), of which a footnote on p. 350 indicates: “Cette pièce qui paroit pour la première fois, a été copiée sur le manuscrit original et unique de la main de l’auteur qui appartient, & existe entre les mains de Mad. la Maréchale de Luxembourg, qui a bien voulu le confier.” In effect, Rousseau wrote this chapter, remained unpublished in his lifetime, for the maréchale de Luxembourg “in an ardent desire to enrich her copy of something that no one else had”. The manuscript is kept in the museum of the abbey of Chaalis (coll. Girardin)

La Nouvelle Héloïse is the first great text published by Rousseau and was also the one that had the most universal success.” (Barbier, Notice bibliographique sur les ouvrages de J.-J. Rousseau, p.9)

“This text generated the most vivid welcome: the edition was sold in an instant; it was by talking from the heart that Rousseau managed to make the kings understand that they had duties to fulfill, and the people that they had rights to defend.” (Avant-propos édition 1839)

Moreau le jeune, an artist particularly gifted in drawing, distinguished himself among all the other artists who did book illustrations through the universality of his taste. Moreau was first and foremost a literary artist. One of Moreau’s engravers declared that if it was possible for the masterpieces that he decorated to all become lost, we’d find their spirit and genius in his drawings.” (Histoire de l’art pendant la Révolution, J. Renouvier)

A beautiful copy, with wide margins, printed on Dutch paper, preserved in its contemporary binding with the arms of the comtesse de Provence (1753-1810).

The daughter of the duke Victor Amédée III de Savoie, Marie-Joséphine-Louise de Savoie (born on the 2nd of September 1753) married on the 14th of May, 1771, Louis-Stanislas-Xavier, comte de Provence, future Louis XVIII.

Of a very liberal mind, she defended the rights of the nation at the beginning of the French Revolution before immigrating on the day of Louis XVI’s arrest in Varennes on 25 June 1791.

A great connoisseur of literature, she skillfully enriched her collection. It was dispersed during the Revolution. (E. Quentin-Bauchart, II, pp 308-330)

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