Œuvres. Marie Madeleine LA FAYETTE, comtesse de.


Amsterdam, s.n. and Paris, [G.-J. Cuchet] 1786.

Eight volumes. 12mo. Frontis., 36, xcviii, 122p. and 283p. and 232p. and [iv], 254p. and [iv], 251p. and [iv], 144p. and [iv], 240p. and xii, 227p. Engraved bust portrait frontispiece of the author (Ferdinand after Rob Delaunay).

Contemporary mottled calf (minor defects), flat spines gilt, gilt-lettered red and black labels, red edges, green silk markers.

FIRST COLLECTED EDITION. “The type of novel Lafayette invented both reflected this range of influence and expanded prose fiction’s horizon…. The shape Lafayette gave her narrative was perhaps her greatest innovation. Instead of the extended fictions of earlier novelists, she created works of striking concision…, reduce[d] plot to the bare essentials, especially by eliminating almost entirely the intercalated tales and digressions…[and] demanded greater attentiveness from readers. More than any other writer, she can be said to have revolutionized the very process of reading prose fiction. LAFAYETTE ALSO INVENTED THE PSYCHOLOGICAL NOVEL: she replaced the action-oriented model of earlier prose fiction with a microcosm centred on issues of interiority…her protagonists engage in a quest for interior, private space in which they can dissect their emotional response to situations in which they find themselves…. Contemporary readers saw this as a sign of her innovativeness. 20th-century readers recognize in this new interiority the mark of her modernity” (France).
     Volume One begins with the first edition of A.-F. Delandine’s biography of Mme. de La Fayette — the first published? —  and with P.D. Huet’s essay on the origins of the novel. In good condition, about one hundred leaves with uncut outer margins (tiny worm trail in six quires, four leaves with natural paper flaws with no loss of text), effaced 19th-century printed bookticket.
¶DeJean, Tender Geographies. Women and the Origins of the Novel in France passim; France, New Oxford Companion to Literature in French 431-2; Cioranescu 38079 (Delandine 22503).

Item #11101

Price: $1,680.00