Le Baiser au Lepreux
Illustrated by Henri Mirande
Mauriac
Mauriac Mauriac Mauriac
Mauriac Mauriac Mauriac
François Mauriac (1885-1970) (author)
Henri (Henry) Mirande (b. 1877) (illustrator)
Le Baiser au Lépreux [A Kiss for the Leper]
Émile-Paul Frères, 14 Rue de l’Abbaye, Paris: 1925
One-quarter brown leather covers, marbleized boards, gilt spine
Quarto, 10 x 8 inches
Red Tag Price: $275
Red tag

A livre d’artiste (artist’s book) with 18 full page expressionistic lithographs by Henri Mirande, illustrating a novel by Nobel Prize in Literature winner François Mauriac.  Produced in a limited edition of 316 copies.

François Mauriac was a French writer whose prolific output included books of poetry, numerous novels, several plays that have been produced by the Comédie Française, journalism and editorials for Le Figaro.  Although he published his first book of poems in 1909, it was Le Baiser au Lépreux, first published in 1922, that brought him fame.  Other notable novels include Thérèse Desqueyroux (1927), Le Noeud de vipères [The Knot of Vipers] (1932), La Fin de la nuit [The End of the Night] (1935) and La Pharisienne [A Pharisee Woman] (1941).  His novels nearly always are set in his native Bordeaux region in France, and find their way to universal themes through being grounded in a precise sense of place.  His Catholic background provided the underpinning for explorations of the tensions between religious doctrine and traditions and a realist’s approach to modern life.  Mauriac was elected to the Académie Française in 1933.  During World War II he remained in occupied France and published Le Cahier noir [The Black Notebook] under a pseudonym.  After the war French president Charles de Gaulle made him a Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor.  In 1964 Mauriac published a study of Charles de Gaulle.  His complete works were published in 12 volumes in the 1950s.  In 1952 Mauriac won the Nobel Prize in Literature.  During the presentation speech, he was praised by the academy for the “conciseness and expressive force” of his prose, which “in a few suggestive lines shed light on the most complex and difficult things.”

Henri (or Henry) Mirande was a French cartoonist and painter.  He illustrated a number of novels by French authors during the 1920s and 30s, and is best known for his contributions to the French humor magazines Le Rire [To Laugh] and Fantasio, and his illustrations for Mauriac’s Le Baiser au Lépreux and P. Mac Orlan’s  Chronique des Jours Désespérés.

Condition:  Interior contents generally very good with usual light overall toning.  Covers very good with usual light scuffs and wear to extremities.

References:

Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs.  France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. Vol. 6, p. 141.

“François Mauriac -- Biography.” from Nobel Lectures, Literature 1901-1967, Horst Frenz, ed.  Amsterdam: Elsevier Publishing Co., 1969.  Nobelprize.org.  http://nobelprize.org/literature/laureates/1952/mauriac-bio.html (28 October 2004).

Österling, Anders. “The Nobel Prize in Literature 1952.” from Nobel Lectures, Literature 1901-1967, Horst Frenz, ed.  Amsterdam: Elsevier Publishing Co., 1969.  Nobelprize.org.  http://nobelprize.org/literature/laureates/1952/press.html