First edition. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author “A Madame Rhom [? perhaps Rhoni] / Hommage de l’auteur” on the half-title. At the time of writing Michelet had just resumed his monumental Histoire de France from the Renaissance to the eve of Revolution. “Unfortunately, his hatred of priests and kings, his hasty or abusive treatment of documents, and his mania for symbolic interpretation continually distort these volumes into hallucinations or nightmares … A new and happier inspiration produced a series of books on nature: L’Oiseau (1856); L’Insecte (1858); La Mer (1861); La Montagne (1868). They reflect the influence of his second marriage to Athénaïs Mialaret, 30 years his junior, in 1849; written in a lyrical vein, they contain some of the most beautiful pages of a supreme prose writer” (Ency. Brit.)
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Octavo. Near-contemporary dark green hard-grain morocco, covers with thick-and-thin blind rules, spines with 4 raised bands, dotted rolls, 3 compartments gilt with rules, dots and flowers at corners, others lettered gilt, “J. de V.” stamped in gilt at foot, marbled endpapers, sprinkled edges. One or two trivial markings. An excellent copy.