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Saint-Pierre, Bernardin de. Paul and Virginia. London: W.S. Orr & Co., 1839. 8vo (24 cm, 9.5"). xxix, 306 pp. $45.00
Bernardin de Saint-Pierre's sentimental novel of two young friends who fall in love on the island of Mauritius sharply criticizes France's social class divisions of the 18th century, drawing from ideas of Enlightenment philosophers and arguing against slavery — although "fair treatment" of slaves in the novel seems to suffice for Saint-Pierre, rather than complete emancipation. This edition bears an original memoir of the author by Sarah Jones and its preface avers (accurately or not) that "this is the first time the Paul and Virginia of St. Pierre has [properly] appeared in an English dress; all the previous editions having been disfigured by . . . numerous omissions and alterations . . . reducing it from the rank of a philosophical tale to the level of a mere story for children."
The edition => contains 330 illustrations, a steel-engraved frontispiece of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, an engraved title-page, and => 28 "large engravings" printed on India paper and mounted (with printed tissue guards) on their own leaves; entered onto the verso of the front free endpaper are long pencilled notes (mainly from Bland) extolling their quality.
Bland, A History of Book Illustration, pp. 78–79. Half purple morocco with gilt lettering and decoration to spine; marbled endpapers and all edges gilt. Rubbed with exposure of boards under leather at corners; boards with spots of discoloration and rear one with nick to cloth exposing board. Light foxing throughout interior and long interior tear (not taking type) to last leaf of text. => A wealth of engravings worthy of study. (37389) Please RESHELVE This.
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