Madame Bovary. Moeurs de Province. Two volumes.

Paris, 1857.

Bound uncut with all the original wrappers, also the back-strips, in two magnificent, uniform full brown morocco bindings in art nouveau-style with inlays of purple, green, and beige morocco in flower-like patterns to boards and top of spines. Inside of boards of vol. I with light olive green morocco with inlayd pink morocco forming an elaborate romantic frame. Inside of boards of volume II with the same pattern, but in blue morocco on a dark green background. Marbled free end-papers, first and last of which in both volumes are covered with shiny silk on rectos and versos respectively. The bindings are signed Anker Kyster and dated 1928. Housed in two blue full cloth boxes with gilt lettering to spines. 

Wrappers slightly soiled along edges and with small, expertly restored, tears. Mounted and expertly restored backstrips with more wear, but almost all lettering intact. A few leaves with small, barely visible, restorations to blank margins. Overall a magnificent, very nice, clean, and fresh copy. 

Bound with the 36 pp. publisher's catalogue, dated March 1857. 

First edition, first issue of Flaubert's seminal magnum opus, the main work of literary realism and one of the most influential pieces of literature ever published.

The novel first appeared serialized in the "Revue de Paris" from October to December 1856 and created a massive stir. Flaubert was almost immediately accused for obscenity and the trial that began in January 1857 helped make the novel notorious. When Flaubert was acquitted in February 1857, he had the novel published as quickly as possible, and it became an instant bestseller.

With the present work, "Flaubert established for good or ill, what most readers think of as modern realist narration, and his influence is almost too familiar to be visible" (James Wood: How Fiction Works).

Recognized as one of the greatest novels ever written "Madame Bovary" is generally considered the perfect work of fiction with an almost unsurpassed influence on contemporary and later writers, prefiguring the work of the great modernist novelists such as Proust and Joyce.
Henry James said of the work " "Madame Bovary" has a perfection that not only stamps it, but that makes it stand almost alone: it holds itself with such a supreme unapproachable assurance as both excites and defies judgment", Nabokov hailed it as "prose doing what poetry is supposed to do", Marcel Proused praised its "grammatical purity" Kundera wrote of it ""not until the work of Flaubert did prose lose the stigma of aesthetic inferiority. Ever since "Madame Bovary", the art of the novel has been considered equal to the art of poetry".

The first issue, especially in wrappers, is uncommon. The present copy has the following first issue-pointers: " Senart" instead of "Senard" in the dedication, as well as the mistakes: "ni de votre dévouement" in stead of "et de votre dévouement" in the dedication; the lack of numbering on pp. 50 and 67 (just a hint of the 0 on p. 50); "demanda-t-elle" in stead of "se demanda-t-elle" on p. 145, l. 23; comma after "abîme" on p. 290, l. 25; the disalignment of 1 and 0 to the bottom of p. 397; "Théodore" poorly printed on p. 475, l. 20.).

Anker Kyster (1864-1939) is one of the most treasured Scandinavian book binders of all time, especially well known for his art nouveau-bindings, the best of which are now very difficult to find on the market. He was a book binding pioneer, who famously worked with the best arts- and crafts people and designers of the period He was also responsible for introducing hand-made marbled paper to book binding as a replacement for machine made paper.

"He established himself as a highly skilled and pioneering bookbinder in Copenhagen, combining elements of classical traditions with modern styles and standards (e.g. those of Cobden-Sanderson)." (Oxford Companion to the Book).

Kyster's full leather bindings are highly sought-after.

Order-nr.: 60354

DKK 75.000,00