Paris: Desessart, 1847. Item #00303
"Piracy, Banditry and Disorder"
Bewitching Beauty Inflames Desires
Uncut, in the Original Printed Wrappers
SAND, George. Le Piccinino. Paris: Desessart, Éditeur, 1847.
First edition. Five octavo volumes (9 1/16 x 5 7/16 inches; 231 x 139 mm.). , 315, [1, blank], [1, “Table”], [3, blank] (final blank leaf pasted to rear pastedown); , 301, [1, blank], [1, “Table”], [1, blank]; , 307, [1, “Table”]; 308, [1, “Table”], [3, blank] (final blank leaf pasted to rear pastedown); [4, advertisements], , 318, [1, “Table], [1, blank] pp.
Uncut, in the original yellow printed wrappers. Advertisements on rear wrappers. Minimal chipping to wrappers, spines slightly darkened, some light foxing and edge browning, as usual. A wonderful set. Each volume housed in a marbled board slipcase and the five volumes housed together in two quarter blue morocco clamshell cases.
Le Piccinino is the tale of a bewitching Sicilian princess whose beauty inflames the desires of everyone she encounters, whether artist, noble, commoner, or bandit.
"The Piccinino is a novel of fantasy," writes George Sand in her preamble, "which has no claim to paint a precise historical epoch, nor to accurately describe a country. It is a study of color, dreamed rather than felt, and where only a few features have been found just as by chance. The scene of this novel could be placed everywhere else, under the sky of the south of Europe …". A story full of fascinating family secrets from one end to the other…
Astonishingly, only one (the present copy in 1989) of this novel featuring "piracy, banditry and disorder" has come to auction within the last fifty years.
"Nothing could be more charming than her tales of mystery, intrigue, and adventure…Le Piccinino [et al] - these things have all the spontaneous inventiveness of the romances of Alexander Dumas, his open-air quality, his pleasure in a story for a story's sake..." (Henry James, Literary Criticism: French Writers, p. 730).
On April 16, 1847, Chopin wrote to his family: “her new romance entitled (thus far) Piccinino (which means: little). The action takes place on Sicily. Many lovely things; I do not doubt that it will be more to Ludwika’s liking than [Sand's] Lucretia, which also aroused less enthusiasm among others here…A great deal of naturalness, of poetry, I remember what a pleasure it was to listen to her reading it” (Fryderyk Chopin—Calendary).
George Sand (pen name of Amandine Lucie Aurore Dupin, Baronne Dudevant, 1804-1876) “was as famous for her ‘unfeminine’ independence, her habit of wearing men’s clothes, and her love affairs with such prominent artistic figures as Alfred de Musset and Frédéric Chopin, as for her writings. In 1831 she left her husband, Baron Dudevant. Her work is usually divided into three distinct periods, the first of which, intensely romantic, corresponds to her affair with Musset… The novels of this period plead the right of free love for both men and women, and include such works as Indiana , Lélia (1833), and Valentine (1832). During the next decade George Sand became interested in various humanitarian reform movements and published such works as Consuelo (1842) and Le Meunier d’Angibault (1845). Her last group of novels, sentimental studies of nature and of rustic manners, includes La Mare au diable (1846), La Petite Fadette (1848), and François le Champi (1850)” (Benét’s Reader’s Encyclopedia).
Vicaire VII, col. 231. Not in Carteret.