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La Guerre et la Paix,

roman historique traduit avec l'autorisation de l'auteur par une russe.

Paris: [printed in St Petersburg by Trenké & Fusnot, and sold in Paris by] Librairie Hachette et Cie, 1879 Stock Code: 142081
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The first translation into another language, the beginning of russomania

Rare first edition in French of War and Peace, one of 500 copies printed, the first translation into another language and a key moment in the appreciation of Russian novelists in the West. The translation was by Princess Irina Ivanovna Paskevich. It was Turgenev who found a French publisher and urged the translation on Zola, Flaubert, and Daudet.

A second edition was published in Paris in 1884, after which the novel was hailed in de Vogüé's influential survey, Le Roman Russe (1886), fuelling a phase of russomania in French literary circles. The French text was used as the basis for the first English translations published in New York and London that year.

WorldCat lists only two locations of this first edition: at La Bibliothèque littéraire Jacques Doucet, Paris, and the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek (HAAB), Weimar, Germany. Karlsruhe Virtual Catalog adds a second French location at Institut de France, Paris. There are no copies in Britain or Ireland according to Library Hub.

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3 volumes, octavo (180 x 121 mm). Contemporary reddish-brown pebble-grain cloth backing brown pebble-grain paper boards, spines lettered and numbered in gilt with simple bands in blind.


With half-titles, battle plan in the text in vol. 3.


Early ownership inscription in pencil at head of first half-title and a handful of pencilled marginalia elsewhere. Cloth rubbed, light wear to board edges, inner hinges cracked but holding, spotting and browning to text, a couple of gatherings starting in vol. 2, still a good copy.


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