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    [Featured Lot]. Laurence Sterne. Letters of the Late Rev. Laurence Sterne, To his most intimate Friends. With a Fragment in the Manner of Rabelais. To Which are Prefix'd Memoirs of his Life and Family. Written by Himself. And Published by his Daughter, Mrs. Medalle. In Three Volumes. London: for T. Becket, 1775. Krown & Spellman retail: $850. First edition.
    8vo. 3 vols. [8], a2, B-M8; [1], B-N8; [1], B-M8, N2. xx, 175, [1]; [2], 192; [2], 179, [1]p. Full contemporary mottled calf, corners worn, hinges split. Banded spine, gilt stamp decoration, red morocco labels with title in gilt lettering, wear to heads and tails. Very light browning and foxing. Names in old hand on t.p. of each volume and first blank of vol. II. Inside margin of t.p. in vol. I reinforced, with slight clean tear in upper left corner. Frontispiece portrait of Lydia Sterne Medalle in vol. I. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.

    More Information:

    These letters were edited by Sterne's daughter who managed to leave out all references to Eliza Draper. "Lydia made the acquaintance of Alexander Anne Medalle, son of a "receveur des décimes" in the custom-house, who was a year her junior. On 28 April 1772 she abjured the protestant religion in the private chapel of the provost's house at Alby, and was married to the young man on the same day. The registers of Alby state that the marriage was "forcé, urgent," epithets to which the gloss is appended: "car alors la loi autorisait la recherche de la paternité" (Inventaire des Archives Communales d'Alby). The words seem to cast a slur on Lydia's chastity. A son was born soon after the marriage. Lydia's mother, who, owing to continued illness, was absent from the wedding ceremony, died at Alby in the house of a doctor named Lionieres (No. 9 Rue St. Antoine) in January 1773. Lydia's husband did not long survive (Croft). In June 1775 the widowed Madame de Medalle arrived in London, and published in Oct., as a substitute for a biography, her father's letters to her and his friends, to which was prefixed, in the worst taste, a portrait of herself bending over a bust of her father. She then returned to the south of France, and soon died. On 19 Sept. 1783 her son, her only known child, died in the school of the Benedictines at Sorere, and it was stated at the time that the boy's mother predeceased him (Athenæum, 18 June and 2 July 1870). The legend that Madame de Medalle was, with her husband, a victim of the French revolution is apocryphal." DNB. ESTC t14758. Rothschild, 1974. Cross 608. Lowndes 2510.       


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2015
    26th Thursday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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