Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe - Early Unrecorded French Printing

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Defoe, Daniel. La Vie and Les Avantures Surprenantes de Robinson Crusoe . . . . (2 Vols.) Amsterdam: L’Honoré et Chatelain, 1751.

Later Printing. Binding: Hardcover (Full Leather). Book Condition: Good+ Condition. 2-volume set (complete). Text is in French. Item Type: Book.

Pagination: Vol. 1: frontispiece, title page, [1]-291 (first part), 292 blank, 293-600 (second part), 1 blank leaf; Vol. 2: title page, [1]-262 (third part), 263-567 (fourth and final part), 1 blank leaf ; illus. : frontispiece portrait of Crusoe in Vol. 1; 12 full page plates illustrating the text. Size: 6"-7" - Sextodecimo (16mo).

This is an unrecorded, apparently pirated, copy. The First edition in French was published by L’Honoré et Chatelain in 1720-21. There is no 1751 printing in French listed in the National Union Catalog of Pre-1956 Imprints (Vol. 136, p. 626). 

WorldCat lists only one library holding (OCLC No. 891144587) at the University of Michigan library, where it is described in the catalog note as “A pirated ed., with fictitious imprint, of pt. 1-2.”

Polished marbled calf over boards. Corners are slightly turned in and worn through on all four of the tips of Vol. 1 and the bottom corner of the front cover and top corner of the rear cover on Vol. 2. There are six compartments on the spines. There are some remnants of the titles and decorations in gilt on the spine, but the leather is dried and alligatored, chipping off in flecks. The binding is tight for both volumes, but the front end paper of Vol. 1 has cracked at the gutter, as has the bottom 1 1/4" of the front hinge of Vol. 2. The rear hinges of both are holding, although there is some loss of the marbled paper on the inside rear cover of Vol. 1.

The text blocks of both books remain tight. The paper has tanned. Scattered foxing with a few pages with heavy foxing, especially in the middle of Vol. 1. Some spotting throughout and on some pages, particularly in the second half of Vol. 2., the area with type is darkened, while the margins remain bright and largely clean. The pages with the plates are generally cleaner and brighter than the text. Marbled edges, faded.

There are some notes in pencil from previous booksellers on the initial leaves of both volumes.

Shipped Weight: 1 lb 12 oz.

Inventory No: 1247.