Paris: Published by Louis Janet, 1825. First English edition. The first edition was published in 1824-1825. Bouilly wrote the tales for the two children of the Duchesse de Berry (Marie-Caroline de Bourbon-Sicile, née Maria Carolina Ferdinanda Luise, 1798-1870), an Italian princess who married into the French royal family, was an important figure in the politics of Bourbon restoration, and the mother of Henri, Count of Chambord (1820-1883). The present work is dedicated to her. Six engraved plates, including frontispiece by Geoffroy after Chasselat, all with the original French captions; engraved vignettes. Binding extremities a bit worn, slight toning to rear board. Front hinge cracked, but sound. Light foxing, the occasional minor stain. Pp. 43-46 and attendant plate slightly sprung. Remnants of book label on front pastedown. Contemporary ink inscription on recto and contemporary discreet ink signature on verso of preliminary blank. A very good copy of a scare work. Contemporary sheep, ruled and stamped decoratively in gilt on front board, gilt-ruled and lettered spine. Marbled endpapers and edges. Eighteenmo. 15, [1, blank], 294 pp. Item #16578
Jean Nicolas Bouilly (1763-1842) was a lawyer, playwright, librettist, children’s writer, and politician of the French Revolution. Bouilly is best known for his libretto Léonore, ou l'Amour Conjugal, supposedly based on true events, in which a woman disguises herself as a man in order to rescue her husband from prison (this work formed the basis of Beethoven’s opera Fidelio, as well several other operas). At the outbreak of the French Revolution, he held office under the new government and was head of the military commission in Tours during the Reign of Terror. In 1795, he served as a member of the Committee of Public Instruction, but retired in order to focus on his literary work. Tales Dedicated to the Royal Children of France contains sixteen stories, several with military themes (the plate for “The Grenadier’s Cap” depicts two children stealing a cap off the sleeping man’s head).
OCLC lists three copies, two in America.