Le Nouvel ami des enfans, ou le Berquin anglais ... Traduction libre de l'anglais ... Cinquième édition, considérablement augmentée. Théodore-Pierre BERTIN, Thomas DAY.
Le Nouvel ami des enfans, ou le Berquin anglais ... Traduction libre de l'anglais ... Cinquième édition, considérablement augmentée.
Le Nouvel ami des enfans, ou le Berquin anglais ... Traduction libre de l'anglais ... Cinquième édition, considérablement augmentée.
Surreal best-seller for kids

Le Nouvel ami des enfans, ou le Berquin anglais ... Traduction libre de l'anglais ... Cinquième édition, considérablement augmentée. Paris: (Imprimerie de Casimir for) Ledentu, 1827.

4 vols. in two, 18mo. viii, 202; 204; 215, [1]; 214, [2] pp.  24 engraved plates, including 12 stipple engravings in vol. 1, faintly signed Dien sc. Contemporary tree calf gilt (scraped and worn). Inscription on front flyleaf of vol. 1: Souvenir de Thse de Butler à son frère Maurice Le 23 Aout 1838

An endearingly odd children’s book. This best-seller, Bertin’s first book for children, first appeared in 1803 with 20 engravings. Although only Thomas Day is mentioned in the titles, the stories borrow from other English writers as well, including Elizabeth Somerville and E. A. Kendall. Bertin was an impoverished littérateur who patched together a living as translator, editor and inventor.  Nearly 50 works bearing his name are listed by Quérard in La France littéraire, and the BnF online catalogue has nearly 120 entries. He achieved his greatest success in his forties, devising a system of shorthand, adapted to French from Samuel Taylor's method, which became widely used in France. Most of Bertin's juvenile works borrow from English works, and contributed to the Anglophilism evident in French children's literature during the Empire and Restoration. 

All editions are rare. Gumuchian claims, on unknown grounds, that the stipple engravings of vapid-faced youth by the prolific French engraver Claude Marie François Dien were produced in England. I prefer those of the last two volumes, which have square-headed children and a surreal quality. That of Flora resting in a meadow uses contrasting patches of hatching and shading to produce a collage-like effect. Cf. Gumuchian 2095-96 for earlier editions; on Dien see Thieme Becker 9:236.

Item #2002

Price: $500.00