Our shops are open and we are processing online, telephone and email orders as normal

CHATEAUBRIAND, François-Auguste-René, Vicomte.

Mémoires d'outre-tombe.

Tome premier [-douzième].

Paris: Eugène et Victor Penaud Frères, 1849-50 Stock Code: 147515
Reserve Ask us a question

First edition, first printing, of this acclaimed masterpiece of 19th-century French literature. This copy, complete with the address to the reader ("avertissement"), the list of subscribers, and Chateaubriand's letter to H.-L. Delloye, is in the original wrappers and rare thus, especially in such excellent condition.

Written between 1809 and 1841, Chateaubriand's Mémoires provide excellent accounts of the late 18th and early 19th-century life in rural France and especially in Brittany where the author grew up, his time in Paris, the uproar of the French Revolution which led him to move to America, his encounters with indigenous people, and his return to Europe with his appointment at the French embassy of Rome by Napoleon for whom Chateaubriand felt both admiration and distrust. Published posthumously between January 1849 and July 1850, the Mémoires were a commercial flop upon release; although delayed until the end of the 19th century, their enormous success ensured their lasting place as a major work of French literature.

Delloye was the founder of the subscribers' society onto whom Chateaubriand had passed the rights to his manuscript: "Dieu aidant, le reste ira bien, et j'espère que ni vous ni les actionnaires, dans un temps donné, n'auront à regretter d'être devenus les propriétaires de mes Mémoires" With God's help all will be well, and I hope that neither you nor the shareholders, in a given time, will have to regret becoming the owners of my Mémoires.

Confused? Read our glossary


12 volumes, large octavo. Original cream wrappers lettered in black, untrimmed. Housed in six custom varnished wooden slipcases.


Slight wear to extremities, faint water stains to spines, spines of vols. 1-4 and 12 darkened, the bindings otherwise sound and fresh, a hint of foxing to a couple of leaves, else internally crisp; a superb set.


Vicaire II, p. 290.


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details



Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

Email: mail@peterharrington.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220

ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book