Les Confessions de J. J. Rousseau, suivies des Réveries du Promeneur Solitaire. Tome Premier [-Second]. [with:] Second Supplément a la Collection des Oeuvres de J. J. Rousseau, Citoyen de Genève. Tome Premier [-Second]. [with:] Seconde Partie des Confessions de J. J. Rousseau. Suivie d’un nouveau choix de Lettres de l’Auteur. Tome Premier. Geneva, 1782-1789.
First Edition of volumes III and IV; Volumes I and II same year as the First Edition. Five volumes, 12mo, (164 x 92mm), pp. [iv], 316; [iv], 396; 439, with the final page beginning ‘ses mortelles’; 403, with the last line of the final page beginning ‘cette lecture’; [ii], 444, in near-uniform contemporary speckled morocco, joints weakening, some signs of wear with staining and rubbing, with some careful restoration, spines gilt with red and green morocco labels lettered in gilt, with the contemporary ownership inscription of Elizabeth Bateman in each volume, trimmed close with some loss in the final three volumes.
A handsome set, in an English binding, of Rousseau’s Confessions, with a contemporary English female provenance. This is a mixed set, comprising the first edition of Volumes III and IV (conforming to Bernard Gagnebin and Lucien Scheler in Tchemerzine V, 563) and a reprint of Volumes I and II, with the same imprint, ‘A Genève, 1782’. It also has the supplementary fifth volume, Seconde Partie des Confessions de J.J. Rousseau. Suivie d’un nouveau choix de Lettres de l’Auteur, Geneve 1789 (OCLC lists the Vassar Collection only).
The bindings on the first two volumes, published in 1782, are slightly different to those of the final three volumes, but each of them bears the ownership inscription of Elizabeth Bateman. In the first volume she has added ‘2 vols’ and so presumably she purchased them prior to the continuations, which were published some seven years later, and had them bound. In turn, she must have had the continuation volumes bound to match the first two, but perhaps by a different binder: the red labels and the green circular numbering pieces are uniform, but the actual tools used for the binding were different. This is a lovely example of literature on the go and shows how serial publications actually worked. That this is also an import, and an import owned by a female collector, rather adds to the resonance of this particular copy.
Tchemerzine, V, 563; see also Cioranescu 54642-54643.