Rare First Edition, First Issue, of Madame Bovary

    Gustave Flaubert. Madame Bovary. Mœurs de Province. Paris: Michel Lévy Frères, Libraires-Éditeurs, 1857. First edition, first issue, with the misspelling of the name "Senart" on the dedication leaf (later issues have the dedicatee's name spelled "Senard"). Two twelvemo volumes bound into one. Approximately 7 x 4.25 inches. [4], 232; [4], [233]-490 pages. Bound without the sixteen-page publisher's catalogue from Volume I and the two preliminary leaves and final blank of Volume II. Bound in nineteenth-century quarter brown calf over marbled boards (remnants of cornerpieces of boards in vellum, but covered in the same marbled paper, possibly indicating an attempt to reinforce the corners), spine double-ruled in black and lettered in gilt. Some rubbing and wear to spine and boards, crease to lower front board, neat inkstamp on half-title, title page with a small smudge and damage to publication date, obscuring the final two digits, later ink note on title-page indicating the incorrect date "1856," some light creasing in text, short tear to upper margin of page 115 of the first part. Still, a very good copy.

    "Madame Bovary was first published in 1856 in the Revue de Paris, and upset readers' susceptibilities even though cuts had been made by the editor. Flaubert was prosecuted, together with the part-proprietor and the editor of the journal, for offences against public morals, but after a trial which was a literary sensation of the day he was acquitted" (The Oxford Companion to French Literature). Vicaire III, col. 721.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2012
    8th Wednesday
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