3 vols. in one, 12mo (162 x 97 mm).  ll., 176 pp.;  ll., 208 pp.;  ll., 271 pp. Fine. Contemporary French mottled calf, flat spine gilt with red morocco lettering piece, edges stained red (foot of spine slightly chipped).***
First Edition of Mme. Riccoboni’s free adaptation of Fielding’s novel. Riccoboni was among the pioneering 18th-century female novelists who earned a living from their writing. Published the same year as a more faithful French translation, by Mme. de Pisieux, Riccoboni's abridged and altered version omitted Fielding's "longueurs" (Gay), "cleaned up" his prose, turned commoners into aristocrats, magnified the importance of financial transactions, interjected an omniscient narrator where Fielding had let the characters reveal themselves through their actions, and altered the fundamental nature of several characters, including the heroine's. Although a passionate Anglophile, English humour was lost on Riccoboni; she therefore removed all traces of it from her version, which, according to Crosby, had been undertaken as an exercise to improve her English. Her scattered notes had been cobbled together rather hastily for publication, Humblot, an excellent printer and publisher, having proposed that she tighten her production schedule in an attempt to thwart the pirate-printers of illegal contrefaçons which were adversely affecting her income. She may have succeeded: Amélie had fewer counterfeit editions than her other publications, a fact that Crosby considered "infallible proof” that it was less successful (p. 46). Whatever the case, it provided "ready consolation" for those female readers (English as well as French) who were "repelled by Fielding's lack of refinement…" (Streeter, p. 146).
Martin, Mylne, Frautschi 62.16; Cioranescu 53037; Gay-Lemonnyer I:91; Rochedieu, Bibliography of French Translations of English Works 1700-1800, p. 107 (Cioranescu and Rochedieu both erroneously citing 1743 as the first edition of this translation); Cross, III 179, 184, 322; Crosby, Mme. Riccoboni, une romancière oubliée, pp. 46, 121-5; Streeter, The 18th-century English novel in French translation, 134. Item #2068