DICKENS, Charles. ~ Olivier Twist … roman anglaise traduit avec l’autorisation de l’auteur … Paris: [Charles Lahure for] Librairie de L. Hachette et c[ompagn]ie, 1858.
18mo (175 × 100 mm), pp. viii, 415, , complete with half-title. Lower margin asymmetrically cut. Contemporary quarter straight grain plum morocco, spine gilt, an excellent copy.
First authorised edition in French, the translation by Alfred Gérardin. It contains a bilingual address by Dickens giving his approbation to the translation as part of a Works series projected by Hachette, concluding: ‘This is the only edition of my writings that has my sanction. I humbly and respectfully, but with full confidence, recommend it to my French readers. Charles Dickens. Tavistock-House, London, January 17th, 1857’. It is the translation in which Oliver Twist was read by French readers into the twentieth century, though the identity of Alfred Gérardin remains obscure.
Earlier unauthorised editions had appeared in 1841 (Olivier Twist, ou l’Orphelin du depot de medicité, published by Barba) and in 1850 (Les Voleurs de Londres by Bedollière). The present Gérardin translation was issued a volume of Hachette’s of Bibliothèque des meilleurs romans étrangers in 1860 (and Monod is incorrect to state that it was first issued in 1864). cf. Sylvère Monods, ‘Les premiers traducteurs français de Dickens’, Romantisme, 1999, 29, 106, pp. 120-1. BL only in Jisc/Copac. WorldCat lists US copies at Morgan (Gordon Ray’s copy), San Diego, Chapel Hill, New Jersey State.