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Gustave Flaubert; [James Joyce]. Madame Bovary.
Paris: Bibliothèque-Charpentier,
1900. Modern red buckram, publisher’s wrappers bound in, signed by James Joyce on
front wrapper and front free endpaper (1901), signature of Irish critic Ernest Boyd to
front free endpaper. Front wrapper chipped and mounted, early repairs to front free
endpaper and rear wrapper. $25,000.
James Joyce’s personal copy of Flaubert’s novel of “provincial manners,” one of
the most controversial and influential novels of the nineteenth century, first
serialized in
La Revue de Paris
in 1856. In the character of Emma Bovary, an
unhappy wife ruined by her romantic aspirations, Flaubert projected his own
struggle with the challenges of realism: “Madame Bovary, c’est moi.” Flaubert was,
in fact, prosecuted for his heroine’s adultery, but was acquitted; his obscenity trial
made the novel a bestseller when it appeared in book form early in 1857. This
édition définitive
, which includes transcripts of the
trial, bears
Joyce’s early ownership signature, dated June 1901, when he was nineteen. The
trial strikingly prefigures the legal challenges to Joyce’s
, another
work featuring a complicated, unapologetically unfaithful wife.When the
decade-long American ban on
was finally overturned in 1933, Joyce wrote to
T.S. Eliot that Random House was publishing JudgeWoolsey’s decision in the first
American edition: “I suppose like the
édition définitive
Madame Bovary
Gustave Flaubert; [James Joyce]. L’Éducation Sentimentale.
Paris: Bibliothèque-
Charpentier, 1901. Modern red buckram, publisher’s rear wrapper bound in, signed by
James Joyce on half-title (1901). Front wrapper missing; half-title torn with loss, with
early tape repairs to verso. $15,000.
James Joyce’s personal copy of Flaubert’s great
, intended as the moral
history of his generation, first published in 1869. The novel follows a provincial
young man in Paris, frustrated in his passions and ambitions, drawn back over the
years into the circle of a woman he once loved. Ezra Pound, in his review of Joyce’s
APortrait of the Artist as a Young Man
, noted that “Joyce produces the nearest thing
to Flaubertian prose that we have now in English.” Stephen Dedalus, hero of that
, quotes Flaubert nearly word for word: “The artist, like the
God of the creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork,
invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails.”
Provenance of both volumes: James Joyce to unknown owner(s) to Ernest Boyd to
Thomas Quinn Curtis to Alexander Neubauer. The modern bindings date from
Boyd’s ownership; he has signed across the
repaired front free endpaper of
. Both volumes are discussed at length
in Scarlett Baron’s
Strandentwining Cable: Joyce,
Flaubert, and Intertextuality
(OUP, 2012). Two
great association copies.
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