Kentfield: The L D Allen Press, 1953. Dean, Mallette. Limited Edition. Hardcover. One of 160 copies, octavo size, 55 pp. Fine / near fine. Item #19052011
The thirteenth publication from The Allen Press, this story by Honore de Balzac (1799-1850) was originally titled "Maitre Cornelius" and first appeared in 1831 in the "Revue de Paris"; it was published in book form in 1832. Balzac was a prolific French novelist and playwright, perhaps best remembered today for "Eugénie Grandet", his first bestseller; in this famous wayward love story, set in fifteenth-century France, Marie de Saint-Vallier, daughter of Louis XI, is unhappily married, and becomes entangled in an unusual love affair.
The book features four wood engravings by the incomparable Mallette Dean (1907-1975), painter and illustrator who worked for most of his career in San Francisco on projects such as the WPA Mural Project, the murals in Coit Tower, and for fifteen years illustrated books for the Grabhorn Press and other Bay-Area presses such as the Allens'. Dorothy Allen hand-colours each wood engraving, bringing a bright simplicity to the scenes of the story.
___DESCRIPTION: Quarter blue paper with marbled paper boards, red lettering on the spine, fore- and bottom edges uncut, title page with wood-engraved historiated initial "T" by Mallette Dean, with hand-colouring by Dorothy Allen, running heads in blue throughout, four wood engravings by Dean with hand-colouring by Allen throughout; Romanee type, handmade Highclere paper, octavo size (9" by 5.75"), pagination: [i-v] vi-lv, one of 160 copies, unnumbered. With prior owner bookplate on the front paste-down. In publisher's original acetate wrapper.
___CONDITION: A fine copy; the covers clean, the corners straight and unrubbed, the binding tight with solid hinges, the interior clean and bright; some faint sunning to the spine, an Ex-Libris on the front pastedown of James Wilson Mull, else fine. The acetate wrapper is near fine, clean, with some light scuff marks, without wear but for small chips to the corners and a very small closed tear to the head of the spine.
___CITATION: The Allen Press Bibliography, no. 13.
___POSTAGE: International customers, please note that additional postage may apply as the standard shipping charge does not always cover costs; please inquire for details.
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