1785. Two vols., 12mo. xxiv, 422, ; , 400,  pp. Both vols. uncut, vol. II partially unopened. Contemporary "temporary" binding of patterned paper over flexible boards, all-over decoration of green and pink leaves, traces of original paper labels on spines lettered in MS, inside all 4 covers are printed waste sheets (see below). Preserved in a rust-colored cloth box. Very good. Item #2785
Fascinating copy of this justly famous, highly objective perspective of America from 1770-1781, preserved in original decorated paper boards, and containing printed waste sheets. Vol. I (lower cover): Missal, in Latin, a reading from II Mark 6. Vol. 2 (upper cover) a reading from Proverbs 8 (left column) and Matthew I (right column). Vol. II (lower cover) a reading from Pluchon-Destouches' "Le petit-neveu de Bocace: ou Contes nouveaux, en vers" (cf. the 1787 "Amsterdam" edition, Vol. 2, p. 49, beginning "Jetaient des cris!") and the (first?) chapter heading (cf. ibid., Vol. I, p. 14). Whereas the text from this work is certain, the printer has yet to be identified; it is likely that he was the anonymous printer of the present edition of Crevecoeur.
¶ THE TEXT: Crevecoeur's Letters "had a greater influence in attracting its readers to America than any other book of the period" (Vail). According to Joseph Sabin, "The author was a native of Normandy, of noble birth, and came to the British Colonies at the age of sixteen. Having established himself on a farm near the frontier, he became one of the first victims of the War of Independence, the Indian allies of Great Britain setting fire and destroying his property. He wrote his letters during the different epochs of the war, in English. Returning to France, he translated them into French." The letters describe the American colonies, people, and customs, with chapters on Jamaica and Bermuda, New York, Nantucket, Martha's Vinyard, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Quakers, Native Americans, Women of the Frontier, Whaling, Marriage Customs, and even books currently in circulation.
¶ THE AUTHOR, Michel Guillaume Jean de Crevecoeur, was a French immigrant who settled in New York in 1759 after serving in the French and Indian War. His notes on American frontier life proved a great success and are still valuable. ¶ THIS EDITION is not to be confused with a different 1785 sine loco, sine nomine edition [printed in Maastricht by J.E. Dufour & P. Roux]. The latter is immediately recognizable by the title-page reading "Tr. de l'anglois par ..." and the account of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard appears on different pages in the text than our edition. The first edition appeared in London, in English, in 1782. The French edition was completely revised and augmented by the author himself. It first appeared in Paris in 1784. This may be the fourth edition in French.
¶ REFERENCES: Clark, Old South vol. I, 218. Howes C-883.
¶ CATALOGUER'S NOTE: this is not the only copy of the 1785 French edition currently on the market, but it is easily the finest and most interesting.