Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - June - 2019 Issue

First Books from Librairie Clavreuil

515809fc-8929-46f4-a1c2-f7a6dc7b3a1e

Author's first books.

Librairie Clavreuil of Paris has issued a catalogue entitled Leur Premier Livre. That translates to "Their First Book," and it refers to the authors not the owners. It is a collection of mostly first editions of first books by notable authors. The subject matter varies widely, containing literature, poetry, science, medicine, history, politics, and more. Most, though not all books are in French, a few being written in English and other European languages. The catalogue itself is entirely written in French. Prices are not specified. Here are a few selections from this catalogue of first books.

 

Francois-René Vicomte de Chateaubriand would die as one of France's most acclaimed writers. He was little acclaimed at the time he published his first book. Born in 1868, he trained to be a naval officer, then a priest, joined the army, became tired of it, and moved to Paris. While a royalist, he became sympathetic to the ideals of the revolution. However, he opposed the violence, so in 1791, he sailed to America, seeking a freer and simpler life. He traveled to the western regions of the young country, spent time living with the Indians seeking an ideal life. Evidently, it didn't work out quite that way so in 1792 he returned home. He joined royalist forces, was seriously injured, and in 1793, as the Reign of Terror began, he managed to escape to London. He remained there until the amnesty of 1800 allowed him to return to France. During his years in England, Chateaubriand began his serious career as a writer. In 1797, his first book was published, item 11 being a first edition of Essai Historique, Politique, et Moral, sur les Revolutions Anciennes et Modernes, Considerees dans leurs Rapports avec la Revolution Francoise. In it, Chateaubriand looks at ancient and modern revolutions and compares them to what was going on in France. He opposed the conservatives of the time, though Chateaubriand would later fully embrace France's return to a monarchy. This book was not a best-seller and did little to build his reputation, but it would be followed by some of the romantic novels from which his career would blossom. He would serve in political office after the Restoration and become the renowned Romantic writer he is today. His best known work, his Memories from Beyond the Grave, would not be published until over a half century later, appropriately enough, after he died.

 

Next we have one that will appeal to Americans, both for its language (English) and its subject. Michel Guillaume St. Jean de Crevecoeur was born in France in 1735. In 1755, he immigrated to America, serving on behalf of the French during the French and Indian War. Despite that loyalty, he stayed on after the French defeat, settling in the British colony of New York. He purchased a large farm in upstate New York where he prospered. He also became a naturalized citizen of the colony, adopting the more American sounding name of John Hector St. John. However, in 1779, he returned to France, he being an unusual combination of French and British in Revolutionary America. He next moved to London, and that is where he wrote this book, Letters from an American Farmer: Describing Certain Provincial Situations, Manners, and Customs, Not Generally Known; and Conveying Some Idea of the Late and Present Interior Circumstances of the British Colonies of North America. It was published in 1782. Perhaps he was humoring the English by calling them "British colonies," but technically they could still be so called as the Treaty of Paris had not yet been signed. Crevecoeur also used his English name, John Hector St. John, for this English book. The book brought Europeans one of their first extensive looks at America, Crevecoeur writing about the entire country with much about its people, customs, infrastructure, and such. His writing was very much complimentary of Americans and their free institutions, encouraging many English citizens to immigrate to the new land, as he once did. Crevecoeur was appointed French Consul in 1783 and returned to New York. He remained in America until 1790 when he was recalled to France. Item 15.

 

Carlo Lorenzo, born in Florence in 1826, by the 1840s had become engaged with literature, theater, and politics. He participated in the First Italian War of Independence, and was an active promoter of the unification of the Italian states. He became a journalist and was a founder of several satirical newspapers. While originally using the Lorenzo name, in 1856 he adopted the pen name for which he is better known, Carlo Collodi. He would again go to war and settle down to write novels for adults. In 1856, he also published his first book, Un Romano in Vapore. Da Firenze a Livorno (A novel in steam from Florence to Livorno). It celebrated the opening of a railroad line between the two cities. It describes the technological advances highlighted by this new mode of transportation. During the 1870s, Collodi turned his attention to writing a different kind of book, stories for children. He wrote several of these, but the one you know is his story of a wooden marionette by the name of Pinocchio, published in 1883. Item 13 is a copy of his first, "steamy" novel from 1856.

 

Like Crevecoeur, we will now take another journey back to America. Unlike Collodi, this author's first book is not an obscurity. Rather, it is by far his most famous. Most every American school child read it for several decades, generally for the wrong reasons. In 1951, J. D. Salinger published his first novel, The Catcher in the Rye. It is one of those coming of age books, the protagonist an unhappy prep school student with whose feelings many in their teen years could easily identify. However, what made the book particularly exciting to adolescents of the time was Salinger's willingness to use bad language and talk of sex, as they did, but only when their parents weren't around. Item 55.

 

Librairie Clavreuil may be reached at +33 (0)1 43 26 97 69 or basane@thomas-scheler.fr.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Jane Austen, <i>Sense and Sensibility: A Novel, By a Lady,</i> 3 volumes, London, 1811. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Virginia Woolf, <i>Kew Gardens,</i> limited edition, signed by Woolf & Bell, London, 1927. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> <i>[Arabian Nights],</i> Calcutta II version, 4 volumes, Calcutta & London, 1839-1842. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Princess Diana, 6 ALS to <i>Harper’s Bazaar</i> editor, anticipating Christie’s sale of her dresses for charity, 1995-97. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Jane Austen, <i>Emma,</i> first edition, London, 1816. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Hirohito & Nagako, Emperor & Empress of Japan, 2 photographs signed, showing Nagako in kimono & obi bearing the imperial seal. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Princess Diana, 6 autograph letters signed to <i>Harper’s Bazaar</i> editor Elizabeth Tilberis, anticipating Christie’s announcement of a sale of her dresses for charity, 1995-97. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Sarojini Naidu, complete galley proof of <i>The Broken Wing</i> signed with several holograph pages & an autograph letter signed to writer Edmund Gosse, 1916. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Fernando Pessoa, <i>Mensagem,</i> first edition, presentation copy, signed & inscribed, Lisbon, 1934. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Graham Greene, <i>The Basement Room,</i> first edition, Greene’s personal copy, signed with annotations throughout, London, 1935. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Abraham Lincoln, partly-printed document signed, call for troops issued during America’s first national draft just days before the NYC draft riots, 1863. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b><br><i>Les Chansons de Bilitis</i> by Pierre Louÿs, illustrated by George Barbier & F.L. Schmied, Paris, 1922. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Helvelius. Two Autograph Letters Signed to Francis Aston, Royal Society Secretary, noting his feud with Robert Hooke, 5 pp total, 1685. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Newton, Isaac. Autograph manuscript on God, 4 pp, c.1710, "In the beginning was the Word...."?$100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. First edition, first issue. Untrimmed copy in contemporary boards. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Signed photograph, beardless portrait with Civil War provenance. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> IMPEACHMENT. Original engrossed copy of the first Andrew Johnson impeachment resolution vote. $120,000 to $180,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Mucha, Alphonse. 11 original pencil drawings for?<i>Andelicek z Baroku,</i> "Litte Baroque Angel," Prague, 1929. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Einstein, Albert. Annotated Galley Proofs for <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Silverstein, Shel. Original maquette for <i>The Giving Tree,</i> 34 original drawings. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Roth, Philip. Typed Manuscript with substantial autograph corrections for an unpublished sequel to <i>The Breast.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Taupin, Bernie. Autograph Manuscript, the original draft of lyrics for Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," 2 pp, 1973. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. <i>De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Padua: 1643. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> CESALPINO, ANDREA. <i>Peripateticarum Quaestionum Libri Quinque.</i> Venice: 1571. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Leon TOLSTOÏ. <i>Anna Karenina.</i> Moscou, 1878. First and full edition of the Russian novel, in the author’s language.<br>Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Mark TWAIN. <i>Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's comrade).</i> New York, 1885. First American edition.<br>Est. 5 000 / 6 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Walt WHITMAN. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> Brooklyn, New York, 1856. Second edition gathering 32 poems. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Karen BLIXEN. <i>Out of Africa.</i> Londres, 1937. First edition in the UK, before Danish translation and American release.<br>Est. 1 500 / 2 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Ernest HEMINGWAY. <i>A Farewell to Arms.</i> New York, 1929. First edition with $2.50 on the dust and A on the copyright page.<br>Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Ulysses.</i> Paris, Shakespeare and Company, 1922. First edition published by Sylvia Beach. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Dubliners.</i> Londres, 1914. First edition. Nice copy in publisher’s cardboard. Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Franz KAFKA. 8 novels in German first edition, published in München, Leipzig and Berlin 1916-1931. Est. from 300 / 400 to 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> David Herbert LAWRENCE. <i>Lady Chatterley's Lover.</i> Florence, 1928. Privately printed first edition. Est. 4 000 / 5 000 €
    John STEINBECK. <i>The Grapes of Wrath.</i> New York, 1939. First edition. Nice copy with $2.75 on the cover. Est. 1 000 / 1 200 €
  • <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Harriet Tubman Cabinet Card by H.S. Squyer, Auburn, NY, 1892. $10,000 to $15,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Scarce <i>Events of the Tulsa Disaster,</i> First Edition, 1922. $4,000 to $6,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Unpublished CDV of Frederick Douglass by Benjamin F. Smith, 1864. $3,000 to $5,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> California Imprint of <i>President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation</i> Broadside, 1864. $10,000 to $15,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> John C.H. Grabill Cabinet Card of Buffalo Soldier Wearing Buffalo Coat, ca 1886. $8,000 to $10,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Rare <i>What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking,</i> 2nd Cookbook Published by African American. $6,000 to $8,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Frederick Douglass Walking Stick, 1888. $3,000 to $5,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Only Known Slave Narrative Published Independently in California, <i>Life and Adventures of James Williams.</i> $2,000 to $4,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Rare First Edition of History of Black Literature, Abbé Grégoire <i>De La Littérature des Nègres</i>. $2,500 to $3,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> African American Soldier and Medal of Honor Winner Christian A. Fleetwood CDV, PLUS. $8,000 to $10,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries Pennant, 1910 Reno, Nevada. $2,000 to $4,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Joe Gans Photograph at 1906 Goldfield, Nevada Fight by Percy Dana. $600 to $800

Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions