Les Trois Mousquetaires [The Three Musketeers]
Paris: Baudry, 1844.
Paris: Baudry, 1844. First edition. First edition. Eight octavo volumes (8 1/8 x 5 1/2 inches; 219 x 135 mm.). 449; 329; 386; 363; 310; 278; 297; 293 pp., in each case with [4, half-title and title-page] and the table of contents additional, as in Reed. Each volume bound with the publisher's printed wrappers, front and back, in fine condition except for minor archival repairs.
Laid in to volume one is a signed leaf of manuscript in Dumas hand being a quote from page 140 of his book "Péches De Jeunesse," published 1847: ".........dans l ombre où nous marchons /Dieu nous sert à nommer le mot que nous cherchons / A Dumas." Additionally there is a note in Dumas' hand, bound in at the front of volume I.
Uniformly bound by David in 19th-century half navy blue morocco over marbled boards. Boards ruled in gilt and spines stamped and lettered in gilt. Top edge gilt, others untrimmed. Each volume with a silk page-marker. Marbled endpapers. Two volumes, with small marginal losses on wrappers, the back wrapper vol. 1 and front volume of volume 7. The back wrapper of volume 7, also bound in on a stub. A bit of foxing and minor light water stain on the top edge of vol. 3 throughout. Small previous owner's book plate on front endpaper of each volume. An additional red morocco bookplate on the front endpaper of Vol. I. All wrappers are present. Overall a pristine copy of one of the greatest historical romances of all time.
This copy of the first edition of Les Trois Mousquetaires is exceptionally clean and bright. What sets it above nearly every other copy that has come up for auction in the past three decades, however, is the fact that the publisher's printed wrappers are bound in at the front and rear of each textblock. Thus in addition to being an absolutely pristine set in notably handsome bindings, the inclusion of the wrappers makes this copy exceedingly rare.
"One of Dumas' most famous romances ... a thorough-going historical romance of Louis
XIII. and Richelieu (period 1625-1628)" (Reed, p.169).
Carteret I, 235. Reed, p.170. (Item #1736)