As a rolling tribute to my good friend Michael Neal, who sadly passed away on October 21st. I am continuing with my promise to catalogue all the Charles Carrington titles from our combined collections. This particular title is one from Michaels collection and a wonderful example of a working book that has been read and bears the signs of wear with pride. An absolute treat to handle, great size and weight, printed on heavy hand made Van Gelder paper, beautiful print job and fabulous Van Maele illustrations, always at his best when there is room for his marvellous monsters.
Thaïs is a novel by French writer Anatole France, published in 1890 and considered one of his best works. It is based on events in the life of Saint Thaïs of Egypt, a legendary convert to Christianity who is said to have lived in the 4th century. In the story, Paphnuce, an ascetic hermit of the Egyptian desert, journeys to Alexandria to find Thais, the libertine beauty whom he knew as a youth. Masquerading as a dandy, he is able to speak with her about eternity; surprisingly he succeeds in converting her to Christianity. Yet on their return to the desert he becomes fascinated with her former life. She enters a convent to repent of her sins. He cannot forget the pull of her famous beauty, and becomes confused about the values of life. Later, as she is dying and can only see heaven opening before her, he comes to her side and tells her that her faith is an illusion, and that he loves her.
Anatole France (François-Anatole Thibault 1844-1924) was a French poet, journalist, and novelist. He was a successful novelist, with several best-sellers. Ironic and sceptical, he was considered in his day the ideal French man of letters. He was a member of the Académie Française, and won the 1921 Nobel Prize in Literature “in recognition of his brilliant literary achievements, characterized as they are by a nobility of style, a profound human sympathy, grace, and a true Gallic temperament”. France is also widely believed to be the model for narrator Marcel’s literary idol Bergotte in Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time.
Title Page and Frontis.
THAIS | TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH | OF | ANATOLE FRANCE | [quotation] | LONDON | CHARLES CARRINGTON | 1901 | All rights reserved
8vo. 304pp. Limited edition of 500 copies on hand-made paper watermarked Van Gelder. Frontispiece + 20 engravings by Martin van Maele done in shades of black and brown; with tissue guards. 6″x9″, x+304pp, hardbound, blue moire silk boards with blind stamped borders, gilt titles on spine, deckled edges, Van Gelder hand-made paper, beautiful tipped-in illustrations protected by tissue guard and printed in combination of black & brown ink, good condition, bumping to corners, some sunning to spine, slight foxing to prelims, interior pages clean.
(Kinsey: 843.7 F815 t3E 1901. The Satyrical Drawings of Martin van Maele; Cythera Press, 1970. Private collection.)Description
Thais, Anatole France, trans. Robert B. Douglas, illus. by Martin van Maële (Charles Carrington, London, 1901 [first English translation, first edition, limited edition, one of 500])
The First English translation of France’s adaptation of the Golden Legend tale. Originally published in Paris by Calmann-Lévy, 1890; and again by Romagnol in 1900, with illustrations by Lauren, in a limited edition of 300 copies [Forbidden Books, p.29]. Anatole France is a pseudonym used by Jacques Anatole Thibault.
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Charles Carrington Bookshop label
Charles Carrington Collection: Henryk Sienkiewicz, Pan Michael, Paris: Charles Carrington1904, Illustrated by Martin Van Maele.
Books for Trade: Anon (Gustav Droz), Un été à la Campagne, A Mitylene n.p (Paris) n.d (1920) (Briffaut). Illustrations by Van Troizem ( Van Maele )
This Book is Not For Sale