Stockholm: Jos. Müller & Cie, 1874. 412 pp. 12mo. Three quarter calf over marbled boards, five raised bands ruled in gilt, morocco lettering piece, five compartments with gilt flowers and decorations, all edges marbled, marbled endpapers. First edition. A very good copy, spine and boards rubbed, owner's bookplate on front pastedown, scattered foxing, heavier to blanks and first and last few leaves. Carteret I, p. 346. Clouzot (Nouv.ed.) p. 134. Item #35078
The most important novel by Gobineau (1816-1882) whose later work is often overshadowed by his "Essau sur l'inegalitie des races humaines," written twenty years earlier. "Shows a debt to Stendhal (whom Gobineau, like Balzac, appreciated when few other critics did)" Harvey & Haseltine, p. 313. With the rise fascism and racial theories, and a look towards a mythological past, a Gobineau revival occurred in France between the two world wars. Cocteau wrote "Ce roman sublime enseigne que le destin travaille dans une zone où nos signes d'intelligence cessent de signifier;" but Roman Rolland added the caution that in Count de Gobineau we see the "same avowed scorn for progress, for liberalism, for that 'humanitarian opium,' for democratic ideals -the same tragic and haughty vision of the struggle of the races- the same voluntary selection of absolute power in the State and Church, here below and in heaven above." (For a complete discussion see "Nineteenth-Century French Fiction Writers: Naturalism and Beyond, 1860-1900. Ed. Catharine Savage Brosman in Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 123). "Trés recherché," Clouzot, "Guide du bibliophile français : bibliographie pratique des œuvres littéraires françaises du XIXe siècle."