The Little Hermitage; by JAUFFRET, Louis Francois (1770-1840).

The Little Hermitage; by JAUFFRET, Louis Francois (1770-1840).
  • Another image of The Little Hermitage; by JAUFFRET, Louis Francois (1770-1840).
  • Another image of The Little Hermitage; by JAUFFRET, Louis Francois (1770-1840).
JAUFFRET, Louis Francois (1770-1840).

The Little Hermitage; and other Tales. Good and Evil, The Characters, and The Gift of Fate. London, R. Phillips, 1801.

First Edition. 12mo, (137 x 85 mm), engraved frontispiece and pp. [iv], 133, [7] advertisements, one further engraved plate, a few small marks, in the original quarter red roan backed boards, with lower front joint splitting, extremities worn, with a contemporary inscription on the front free endpaper ‘Jane Keonsley the Gift of her Sister Mary Anne - June 20th 1803 - The Little Hermitage’.

A scarce little children’s book containing four tales by the French poet, educationalist and fabulist, Louis François Jauffert. The Advertisement states that the four stories had all been previously published in The Monthly Preceptor, or Juvenile Encyclopaedia, to critical acclaim, where they were pronounced ‘by competent judges’ to be ‘among the most delightful pieces that ever were written for the entertainment and instruction of young persons’. Following this recommendation, this more accessible edition was prepared: ‘the Publisher could not refrain from the satisfaction of printing them in a size and type better calculated for general circulation than the form in which they originally appeared’. The last of the short stories, ‘The Gift of Fate, a Mythological Tale’, is translated from the German of August Lafontaine.
Jauffret was a prolific writer who has been likened to Buffon in his interest in the relationship between childhood and adult identity in a scientific and enlightened world. ‘Jauffret, permanent secretary of the Society of Observers of Man, conceived the study of children as a privileged means to pursue the Observers’ motto, ‘know thyself’, but his hestiations and aborted projects point to the conflict of his two identities as ‘Observer of Man’ and ‘Friend of Children’... the multiple roles of children in [his] works reveal the extent to which the child as object of scientific knowledge and normalizing intervention is the underside of the sentimental figure of natural and innocent childhood’ (Benzaquén, Childhood, Identity and Human Science in the Enlightenment, 2004). It was republished in 1811 with the subtitle, ‘a tale, illustrative of the arts of civilized life’.

Osborne Collection II, 899-000 (Second Edition, 1804); Gumuchian 3181 (1805 edition); not in Cotsen.

OCLC lists Wayne State University and University of Florida only.

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