Paris: Typographie de Firmin Didot Frères, 1834. First edition, presentation copy, inscribed by the author to a “Madame de Legendre.”. Joints, corners lightly rubbed, a few light abrasions to bottom edge. Contemporary armorial bookplate. A very good copy. Contemporary or slightly later blue calf. Covers and sides ruled in gilt, gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers and edges. Octavo. , 323 pp. Item #14397
Didot (1764-1836) is best known for his work on the Didot typeface, which was, along with the typeface designed by Giambattista Bodoni, one of the most influential and classic typefaces of Enlightenment Europe. He is also known for his experimentation with stereotyping, which he used to popularize low-priced editions of French, English, and Italian books. He also made a number of translations, including one of Virgil’s Bucolics, printed from type that he had designed and cast himself. Napoleon made him director of the foundry of the Imprimérie Impériale, and he was offered its full direction in 1830. The present work contains an essay on the great sixteenth century French printers, Robert and Henri Estienne, along with two one-act tragedies, Annibal and La Reine de Portugal, several translations from the Spanish and from classical authors, including one of l’Ode de Sappho.
See Updike, Printing Types, 218.