Lettres trouvées dans les papiers d'un père de famille. The Hague & Paris [ie Paris], Charpentier, 1763.
First Edition. 12mo, (162 x 97 mm), pp. [iv], 415, marginal paper repair on M2, in slightly later plain boards with manuscript title label on spine and manuscript shelfmark label at the foot of spine, ownership inscription on the titleof Frederic Baron de Widorman with heraldic stamp.
First edition of this scarce epistolary novel set in France and England. Presented as a collection of letters belonging to the father of a family, the comte d’Orsainville and his wife the comtesse, the the main concern of the novel is the preoccupation of the parents - and particularly the mother - with the education of their young son. Other characters, in the form of family members, dependants and the local priest, including Mademoiselle d’Effiat, M. de Sainte-Marine and le chevalier de Kermadeuc, take their place in the novel and form part of the correspondence. The merits and dangers of different subjects suitable to the young boy’s education are discussed and as the novel progresses, we see the mother watching over her son’s first steps in the world. It is a novel of sensibility but highly didactic in tone. A second edition was published in Frankfurt in 1764 and it was later published under the title Lettres du comte d’Orsainville, The Hague and Paris, 1773.
The authorship of this work has not been fully established and it is listed in MMF as anonymous. The attribution to Charpentier, who was also the publisher, comes from a note in OCLC which states that an application for permission to print this title by ‘Charpentier lib’ was made in 1763.
OCLC 460276267, at the BNF.