Élégies, Marie, et Romances

1819107 x 179 mm

Full contemporary binding

1 300 



RARE FIRST EDITION of Marceline Desbordes-Valmore's first book.
Frontispiece by Dupréel and 3 steel figures, one engraved by Johannot after Desenne and another by Lecerf after Chassela.

Marceline Desbordes-Valmore made her debut in opera and then comedy, notably in Paris at the Théâtre de l'Odéon and at La Monnaie in Brussels. But the "theatre is the worst profession if you don't shine in it; and yet what disgust withers the true glory it presents"(letter to her brother, 1817). She wanted to devote herself to poetry and, with the help of Doctor Alibert - the doctor to Louis XVIII and Charles X who had put his protégée in touch with the bookseller Louis - published her first works Elegies. Registered with Bibliography of France of 26 December 1818, they made Marceline Desbordes-Valmore a pioneer of Romantic poetry.
The following year  seem the Poetry by Mme Desbordes-Valmore but the innovative character of these collections was gradually forgotten in favour of the Poetic meditations by Lamartine, also published in 1820.

Le Mercure Belge splits  a major article on the work - the poetess was living in Brussels at the time  :

Some writers, too justly famous for their system to be attributed to jealous and fearful rivalry, wanted to exclude women from the temple of the Muses, forgetting that the Muses themselves belong to this sex which they condemned so rigorously never to know either the pleasures or the glory of poetry.

The success of this collection prompted the Valmores to return to Paris. After a final contract at the Lyon theatre in 1821, Marceline left the stage at the age of 37. 

Elegant contemporary binding in decorated calf. 

Carteret, 205: "An extremely rare work"

Paris,François Louis,1819.In-12° , Bound,107 x 179 mm,72 pp. - 4] plates - 92 pp. - 52 pp.

Contemporary binding in green bronze calf, spine ribbed and decorated with gilt and cold-stamped fillets, roulettes and fleurons, gilt title, framed by a gilt fillet and two cold-stamped roulettes on the boards, gilt roulette on the edges, gilt inner roulette, gilt edges. Traces of a skilful restoration to the title, small tear at the head of the lower spine.


Marceline Desbordes-Valmore

Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, born in Douai on 20 June 1786 and died in Paris on 23 July 1859.

See The Works