Les Maritimes (Moeurs candides)

1901120 x 185 mm

ORIGINAL EDITION and first printing.
A copy with a handwritten key and a moving war letter.




FIRST EDITION and first print run (no mention of thousand).
Preface by Paul Adam.

The author's first novel, published under the pseudonym Olivier Seylor, The Maritimes are inspired by his experience as a sailor based in Toulon. The book "[d'] an observer who lived in the world of the navy, which he describes and which this book revolutionises" -  (Le Figaro26 November 1901) - was a great success, not least because of the controversy it provoked. A novel with keys that barely conceals identities behind transparent pseudonyms, The Maritimes brought the author before a board of enquiry in order to ".answer for a serious breach of discipline".his novelcontaining insulting and outrageous insinuations for naval officers and targeting a certain number of your chiefs whose names are delineated, just enough to make them stand out better". Diraison was forced to leave the navy after his reformation on 1 January 1902, but this decision did nothing to quell the scandal; the book quickly became a huge success".in the navy and in ports", le Figaro announcing on 23 December that the twentieth issue of the book had just been published, while the Journal du Dimanche reminded us two months later that the book was now in its fiftieth edition. Writing under the name Olivier Diraison-Seylor, the author went on to publish a dozen books, right up until the outbreak of the First World War. Assigned to a number of dangerous missions - he had to break down several doors to take part in the conflict - he was promoted to lieutenant and took part in the assault on Navet Wood, where he was shot down in June 1916.

This copy contains two exceptional autographs mitre-mounted :

  • The key to the characters' true identities (a folded leaflet measuring 250 x 160 mm, still violet)
  • A signed autograph letter dated 22 March 1915 (2 pages on one sheet, 210 x 265 mm, black ink):

"Mr Chairman, Members of the Committee
This is the last request you will receive from me. I'm leaving for the Eastern Expeditionary Corps, as part of the 8th mixed Senegalese, a mere tolerated volunteer, since I inexplicably remain the only Frenchman denied the right to lapel properly and in accordance with the regulations. [...]
Gentlemen, and especially Mr Gefffroy, perhaps later you will want to check what I have suffered with my mouth closed, because I was only thinking of the future of a charming little thing - and perhaps when you know I am dead and well dead, fulfil this vow I bequeath to you: to have my name engraved on the marble of my little Alain Cimetière de Bagneux, 26 eme division Allée des Ormes de Clemmer.
Thank you Diraison-Seylor.

Nice outfit.

Paris,Félix Juven,Undated [1901].In-12, Softcover120 x 185 mm,318 pp.

Some reading creases to spine, good condition.



Born in Finistère, Olivier Diraison entered the Ecole Navale in 1891 for two years and joined the Navy as a 1st class midshipman. Following in the footsteps of Loti and encouraged by
Paul Adam wrote his first book, Les Maritimes, which depicted the workings of the navy. The novel caused a scandal, and its author, forced to resign, devoted himself entirely to
literature. A reserve officer at the start of the war, he had to break down several doors to take part in the conflict. Assigned to a number of dangerous missions, he was promoted to lieutenant and took part in the assault on Navet Wood, where he was shot dead.

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