VOYAGE AUTOUR DE MON JARDIN.
Paris: L. Curmer; V. Lecou 1851. The first color illustrated edition of this classic garden meditation by the French novelist, journalist and floriculturist, Alphonse Karr. The text is composed as a series of letters to a friend whose departure for exotic travel has created in the narrator the urge to demonstrate that truly exotic traveling can be accomplished entirely within the carefully observed world of his garden. Thus we are introduced to keen observations of insect and flower life, to flower lore, themes of metamorphosis, much discussion of the major flowers (such as the rose and tulip), color in the garden and nature, the succession of flowers with the seasons, etc. "Les saisons qui se renouvellent sont les climats qui voyagent et qui me viennent trouver. Vos longs voyages ne sont que des visites fatigantes que vous allez rendre au saisons..." There are many departures into memory and historical association, but all is based upon the life drama of the world underfoot in the garden. It is, in a way, a work of romantic ecology, scientifically informed, but directed by the beauty and passion of the observed garden. The wood engraved text illustrations and decorations are by noted artists of the period: MM. Freeman, L. Marvy, Steinheil, Meissonier, Gavarni, Daubigny and Catenacci. In this first edition with full page color plates there are also eight flowers depicted: rose, campanula, dipladenie noble, gardenia, fuchsia, azalea, camellia and lapagerie. The text, without the color plates, first appeared in 1845. Carteret III-325. Large 8vo (27 x 18 cm); half title and title page + 416 pp. with numerous wood-engraved text illustrations + 8 color plates with printed tissue guards.
In publisher's pebble grained cloth with leather spine divided into 5 compartments, gilt tooled with gilt titling, a.e.g., spine a bit sunned; text very fresh and bright, apart from some minor foxing to initial pages. Plates bright.
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