Very Good. Item #7010
Paris: Librairie Garnier Frères, 1946. Small octavo; xvii + 307pp. Limp aegean blue leather with gold lettering and ornament on spine. Gilt top edge of textblock. Faux marbled endpapers. Purple bookmark ribbon bound in. Entirely in French.
Leather somewhat darkened with minor scuffing to crown and foot of spine, hinges, and panel corners. Joints and hinges robust. All gilt still bright. Mild, even tanning to textblock; paper remains solid; textblock unmarred and unmarked. Volume very perusable and usable.
Montesquieu's epistolary travel novel in reverse, in which two Persians, Usbek and Rustan, write about the shocking or irrational or ridiculous things they see in Paris between 1711 and 1720, is here presented in an elegant small format. Our editor, Gonzague Truc (1877-1972) whose name is amusing for speakers of idiomatic French, was a literary essayist and critic with far-right leanings, and might well have been the target of some of Usbek's and Rustan's mockery if he had been born two centuries earlier. Montesquieu's wonderfully intelligent and merrily wicked Gulliver's Travels five years before Gulliver's Travels has a sermon to preach to major world capitols and their arrogant inhabitants even today.