H&W Brochure - page 14-15

Adrienne Monnier. La Figure.
Paris: La Maison des Amis des Livres, 1923. Quarto,
original ivory wrappers, uncut and largely unopened. Inscribed on the half-title:
“à Monsieur Ernest-Charles / sincère hommage / Adrienne Monnier / Avril 1923.”
With: original photograph of Monnier at work, circa 1925. $500.
First edition of this collection of poems by Left Bank bookseller Adrienne
Monnier, dedicated to the friends of her bookshop, among them Paul Valéry,
Andre Gide, Paul Claudel, James Joyce, and Sylvia Beach.When Monnier opened
La Maison des Amis des Livres in 1915, she became one of the first women in
France to set up independently as a bookseller. Jules Romains, entering the shop in
1916, recalled meeting Monnier there, “a girl [who] had just entered the service of
literature as others decide to enter the service of religion.” It was Monnier who
encouraged her friend and lover Sylvia Beach to open Shakespeare & Company
across the street, and the two bookshops, one French and one English, made the
rue de l’Odéon the center of literary life in Paris between the wars. In her tribute
to Beach in
La Figure
, Monnier invokes the “doux fleuve de soleil qui porte sur ses
bords / Nos librairies”:
sweet river of sun that bears on its edges / Our bookstores
One of 300 copies. Text in French. A fine inscribed copy, accompanied by a portrait
of Monnier in her shop by Paris photographer Henri Manuel.
Étienne-Gaspard Robert. La Minerve, Vaisseau Aërien Destiné aux Découvertes.
Paris: Hocquet, 1820. Octavo, nineteenth-century three-quarter calf. Hand-colored
engraved folding frontispiece, three pages of woodcuts. $4000.
Second edition of this early work on ballooning, first published in 1804, featuring
one of the most fantastical images in the history of aeronautics. Robert proposes a
massive scientific airship, hosting a library, laboratory, and fully staffed observatory
shaped like a chicken.While no airship remotely comparable to the
ever built, Robert’s flight of fancy would influence the speculative ballooning
fiction of Edgar Allan Poe and Jules Verne. Text in French.
Vincent Lunardi. An Account of the First Aerial Voyage in England.
London: Printed for the Author, 1784. Octavo, nineteenth-century three-quarter calf.
Engraved portrait, two folding plates, signed by Lunardi. $3500.
First edition of this account of the first balloon ascent in England. Lunardi’s feat
made him a sensation: “My time is now taken up with the exhibition of the Balloon,
and indeed of myself. . . . It is difficult to imagine any thing more pleasing than the
solicitude which multitudes of beautiful women express concerning dangers that
are past, and the heroism of others who wish to accompany me in my second tour.”
Lunardi signed early copies of his book, including this one, to limit piracy.
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