MUSSET (Alfred de).

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MUSSET (Alfred de).
A Show in an Armchair. [First and second issues]. Paris, Librairie d'Eugène Renduel, 1833. - Paris, Librairie de la Revue des Deux-Mondes; London, Baillière, 1834. Together 3 volumes in-8, half green long-grained morocco with corners, smooth spine decorated, untrimmed, cover and spine (Canape).
Original editions.
The writing of Le Spectacle dans un fauteuil took place after the failure of La Nuit vénitienne on the boards of the Odéon around 1830. Having sworn "never again to face the public of the parterres", the author decided to conceive his plays not for the stage, but for the reader comfortably installed in his armchair. The combination of these two issues, published by two different publishers a year apart, constitutes the first edition of Alfred de Musset's plays. It brings together his main masterpieces, all of which appear here for the first time.
The first issue, devoted to verse theatre, includes the drama La Coupe et les lèvres, the comedy À quoi rêvent les jeunes filles, and the oriental tale Namouna. Musset's most famous line is found in the dedication of this volume: Qu'importe le flacon, pourvu qu'on ait l'ivresse! The second volume contains the prose works Lorenzaccio, Les Caprices de Marianne, André del Sarto, Fantasio, On ne badine pas avec l'amour, La Nuit vénitienne, and Fragment du livre XV des Chroniques florentines.
The verse volume is decorated with 3 beautiful etched vignettes by Célestin Nanteuil, printed on chine appliqué: these are of the greatest rarity and only a few proofs are known, as Musset, who considered them too romantic, demanded their destruction (cf. Asselineau, Mélanges, 1866, pp. 6-7).
A very fine copy, complete with the 3 etchings by Célestin Nanteuil, finely bound by Canape.
Quoted by Carteret, it was in the André Lefèvre library (III, 1966, n°539, then without the four foreword leaves at the head of the first volume of prose, which were added later), and then belonged to the poet and playwright Jean-Victor Pellerin (sold in 1969), whose bookplate it bears.
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