DICKENS, Charles. ~ Nicolas Nickleby... traduit de l’anglais par E. de La Bédollierre. [Paris: Fournier and Cosson for] G[ustave] B[arba], [ 1840].
4 vols, 8vo (196 × 125 mm), pp. [iii]-ix, , 456; [iv], 464; [iv], 366, 16 (adverts); [iv], 388, first vol. without half-title. Contemporary pastepaper wrappers (pink sides, green spines) with paper labels lettered in manuscript. Contemporary labels of a Paris Cabinet de Lecture pasted over imprints. Numerous corners turned down, occasional minor staining, a few pages or gatherings working loose, but all secure, bindings rubbed with some creasing and splitting at joints. An interesting, unsophisticated copy.
First edition in French of Nicholas Nickleby (1839) translated with an introduction by Émile de La Bédollierre. The four-and-a-half page Preface describes Dickens’s success in England and the undoubted success of Nickleby ‘un panorama de toutes les classes de la société anglaise, une critique fine et piquante de touts les ridicules, une vaste composition à la manière de Gil Blas, où mille personnages divers se meuvent et posent devant le lecteur’. It also explains, for a French audience, the character of schoolmaster Squeers as the representative of an entire class, not just himself.
The copy retains the adverts (16 pages at the end of volume 3) giving a valuable context, with other English works from Scott and Marryat. It is also interesting as a ‘cabinet de lecture’ copy, from a public reading room in the rue Pigal[le], Paris, run by a M. Laporte, according to the contemporary pencil additions to the printed labels pasted over the imprints in each volume. The library wrappers are probably pasted over at least some of the original yellow wrappers. Rare: Worldcat locates copies at the British Library and Vassar College only. There is also a copy in the Bibliothèque nationale.