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A collection of Brussels-printed pirate editions of French literature. 186 works in 171 volumes.
[Brussels: 1829-1880]. - A meticulously compiled and preserved collection of 186 small-format piracies of successful contemporary French literature, a state-sponsored speciality of Brussels printers in the nineteenth century. The humble Brussels contrefaçon was a major force in contemporary French literature, feeding a voracious demand for novels, plays and poetry not catered for by the relatively small editions printed by the Parisian publishers and reinvigorating the Belgian printing trade. These little books often appeared hard on the heels of the Parisian first editions and may occasionally even have preceded them. Exported in huge numbers, often back to France, these ephemeral paperbacks were frowned upon by the literary establishment and were rarely kept or collected. According to the bibliography compiled by Boitte in 1882, most had become 'rare' or 'très rare' in the few intervening years since their publication; and certainly a sampling of editions recorded in OCLC suggests they are often held in a handful of copies each. This then is a remarkable collection, for being put together towards the close of the century, and for preserving good examples of so many titles, always with wrappers and (usually) publisher's adverts and catalogues intact. Few such substantial research collections can claim to occupy such an economical physical space.The large majority of these titles, among which Béranger, Dumas and Hugo are especially well represented, were printed by the firm of Laurent but there are good runs of titles printed by contemporaries and successors in the industry during the heyday of the form. Some titles appear in more than one edition and the collection includes the vast majority of titles and editiond recorded by Boitte in his bibliography, a copy of which is included here (in 32mo, uniformly bound). Other authors include : Andrieux, Barbier, Barthèlmy, Delavigne, Marecline Debordes-Valmore, Lamartine, Parny and Quinet (a complete list is available on request). All 32mo (110 × 65 mm), preserving original printed wrappers, uniformly bound in slightly later quarter cloth, black morocco spine labels, marbled paper sides, green silk markers. Often unopened, the wrappers occasionally soiled and (less often) worn, with minor expert repairs. [BOITTE, Arthur. Bibliographie des ouvrages français contrefaits en Belgique dans le format in-32 connus sous le nom de Collection Laurent avec diverses suites. Brussels: Adolphe Boitte, 1882.] [Attributes: Soft Cover]
      [Bookseller: Justin Croft Antiquarian Books Ltd ABA]
Last Found On: 2016-06-15           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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