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Les Fleurs du Mal (Presentation copy)
Paris: Poulet-Malassis et de Broise, 1857. First edition. First issue with the running title misprint "Feurs" on p. 31 and 108, p.45 misnumbered 44, and the misprint "captieux" on p. 201. It is complete with the six pièces condamnées whose removal was ordered only six weeks or so after publication (Les Bijoux, Le Léthé, A celle qui est trop gaie, Femmes damnées, Lesbos and Les Métamorphoses du vampire). Inscribed by the author on the half-title, "à M. Hostein, en lui demandant encore un peu de patience, Ch. Baudelaire." Ink a bit faded. Hippolyte Hostein was a writer and the director of the Théâtre de la Gaîté in Paris from 1849 to 1858. Baudelaire had proposed a play to Hostein, a melodrama based on his poem Le Vin de l'assassin, where a worker kills his wife so that he can descend into drink without interruption or criticism. The part of the wife was meant for Marie Daubrun, an actress at the Gaîté with whom Baudelaire had fallen in love. Baudelaire never wrote the play, and perhaps he sent this book as an apology for still not producing his text (see F.W.J. Hemmings, Baudelaire the Damned, 2011). 12mo (189 x 122mm.), half-title, later crushed brown morocco by L. Peeters of Antwerp, top edge gilt, others uncut, original yellow printed wrappers in their second state (with the five typographical faults uncorrected and with the price of 3F. on the backstrip) bound in, marbled paper slipcase, small area of loss to lower corner of upper wrapper. This copy has bound at the end two facsimiles of the lower wrapper, in state A and state B, together with a printed note regarding Vicaire's research into the two states (now superseded by Carteret's bibliography).. Important association copies have brought much more (including a large paper copy inscribed for Delacroix at Sothebys in 2007 for 603,000 euro), but these appear to be the closest comps from the auction record going back the last 15 years (and after parsing through the French descriptions): 127,000 euro in 2012 at Piasa (for Edmond About); 168,000 euro in 2011 at Vernator and Hanstein (for Edmond Texier); 169,000 euro in 2007 at Sothebys (for Philarete Chasles); and $102,000 in 2004 at Sothebys (for Monsieur Fowler). Many of these copies bound without wrappers (and many sold when the euro was much higher than it is today).
      [Bookseller: Whitmore Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2017-06-14           Check availability:      Biblio    

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