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Napoléon chez lui.

La journée de l'Empereur aux tuileries. Illustrations par F. de Myrbach. [Together with:] Napoléon et les femmes, l'amour.

Paris: Dentu; Paul Ollendorff, [1894] Stock Code: 122623
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First editions, presentation copies, inscribed by the author to his close friend, the dramatist and opera librettist Philippe Gille (1831-1901). Napoléon chez lui is inscribed on the limitation page "À Mon excellent ami Philippe Gille, sou bien reconnaissant Frederic Masson" To my excellent friend Philippe Gille, his very grateful Frederic Masson; Napoléon et les femmes is inscribed on the half-title "À Philippe Gille Comme un affectueux témoignage, de graditude & d'amitié Frederic Masson" To Philippe Gille, as affectionate testimony of gratitude and friendship, Frederic Masson.

Both works are limited issues printed on Holland Paper; Napoléon et les femmes is out of series, from a run of 50, and signed by the publisher and author on the limitation page, and Napoléon chez lui is number three of 10 such copies.

Masson (1847-1923) was the leading specialist on Napoléon and produced a number of such popular and comprehensive accounts of Napoléon's personal life. This set has been richly extra-illustrated, and includes two manuscript letters from women mentioned in Napoléon et les femmes including Laure Junot d'Abrantes (1784-1838), who claimed in her Memoirs (1831-4) that Napoleon had proposed to her in her youth. This pair appears to have been regifted from Gille to the Italian operatic tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921), with his bookplate to front free endpaper versos.

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2 works, octavo (226 x 147 mm). Contemporary full green morocco by Parisian binder S. David, titles to red and green labels to spines in gilt, spines stamped in gilt in compartments, Napoleonic crest blocked in gilt to boards, turn-ins elaborately tooled in gilt, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt, others untrimmed, silk book markers, original wrappers bound in at ends.


Both works extra-illustrated; Napoléon et les femmes: 20 engraved portraits, 11 hand-coloured portraits, 5 further plates, one of which is folding, and 2 letters tipped in. Napoléon chez lui: with 12 plates and 23 additional engraved portraits.


Bindings sometime rather clumsily gilt tooled and labels replaced. Spines and board edges sunned, slight wear to extremities and at joints, a couple of small chips to raised bands, occasional foxing and light offsetting from plates, a couple of damp marks to upper margins; Prior cataloguing tipped in to Napoléon chez lui. A very good, handsome set.


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