Six Rare, 1827/1828, Volumes of "Mémoires d'une Contemporaine".
A set of six rare volumes of "Mémoires d'une contemporaine, ou Souvenirs d'une femme sur les principaux personnages de la République, du Consulat, de l'Empire, etc." by Saint-Elme, Ida (1776-1845).
Dating from the years when they were first published, 1827 and 1828, these works are almost 200 years old.
Rare and collectible, they are hardcover editions with wonderful, marbleized, covers. Each one is a treasure in its own right and together they make an incredible impact.
They are "aged to perfection" and will give you an instant "old library" effect and add an extra "French chic" to your collection!
The author of these amazing books is Maria Johanna Elselina Versfelt (27 September 1776 – 19 May 1845), also known as Ida Saint-Elme, Elzelina av Aylde Jonghe, and by her pseudonym La Contemporaine. A Dutch writer and stage actress, she is known for her adventurous life.
Versfelt was born in Lith. Her parents were the vicar Gerrit Versfelt (1735–1781) and Alida de Jongh (1738–1828), and she was married around 1792–1796 to merchant Ringeling Claasz (1768–1801). She was known for her love affairs: in 1795–1799, she had an affair with French General Jean Victor Marie Moreau (1763–1813), and in (1800–1815) with General Michel Ney (1769–1815).
She left the Netherlands after the French conquest in 1795 and followed her lovers on their military campaigns over Europe. From 1801, she worked as an actress in traveling theatres in France and Italy. In 1827, she published her memoirs Mémoires d'une Contemporaine (8 parts, 1827–1828), which made her famous. She died, aged 68, in Brussels.
This set has volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8.
They are in genuine antique condition, as you can see from the photos. As far I can tell they are complete, but some of the pages are loose and damaged, they are delicate, and scuffed. The pages have "age spots" and discoloration which adds to their charm and authenticity. I've left them exactly as I found them because they're authentic.
They are still perfectly readable, they just need to be handled with respect for their age and condition.
Most importantly they have that "old book smell" reminiscent of libraries and bookshops from a by-gone era - fabulously comforting.
If you choose to stand them up (like a normal library shelf) then you need a space 19cms/ 7½" high x 19cms/ 7½" long and 12cms/ 4¾" deep.
They weigh 2.1 kgs/ 4.6 lbs altogether.
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