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    Eugène-François Vidocq. Mémoires de Vidocq, Chef de la Police de Sureté, jusqu'en 1827. Paris: Tenon, Libraire-Éditeur, 1828-1829. First edition. With all four half-titles. Volumes I-III are signed by Vidocq as called for on the versos of the half-titles under a printed statement proclaiming the contents to be true. Four octavo volumes (7 7/8 x 4 ¾ inches; 198 x 121 mm). viii, 420; [iv], 462; [iv] 434; [iv] 420 pages. Expertly recased in paper over boards, with the original printed backstrips and printed front and rear panels laid down on each volume. Endpapers renewed, manuscript shelf labels on spines corresponding to penciled shelf locations to the top fore-edge corner of the front pastedown endpapers, top edges stained red. Light rubbing and soiling to bindings, with fading to volume III. Sheets are very clean with only occasional light foxing. A very good restored copy, still a lovely set that shows very well.

    Vidocq contributed to literature the first modern detective book when he published his Memoirs in 1828. Aside from publishing the first crime narrative, Vidocq was a criminal who founded the first detection agency, establishing his own department after talking his way into the French police and advancing to become chief of the Police de Sureté. The Sureté would evolve into the French version of the FBI. After he resigned from the Sureté, Vidocq became the first famous private crime detective (preceding Pinkerton and his contemporaries) for the protection of trade from swindlers and for undertaking private cases. The present work began the detective fiction genre, and was subsequently influential in literature, inspiring the work (and characters) of Hugo, Balzac and Poe.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2020
    15th-16th Thursday-Friday
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