Die Neue Heloise; Briefe Zweier Liebenden in Einem Städtchen am Fusse der Alpen ["Letters of two lovers in a town at the foot of the alps"]

Potsdam: Gustav Keipenheuer, 1920. Limited Edition. Vellum. No. 164 of 200 copies bound in full vellum, quarto size, 383 pp., entirely in German. Near fine. Item #20112401

John-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) remains a cornerstone today of modern philosophical thought; his work greatly influenced the Enlightenment and "the development of modern political, economic and educational thought."

This work, structured as a novel using the vehicle of letters between the protagonist, ostensibly explores the themes of temptation, sin, betrayal and redemption. However, "a philosophical theory about authenticity permeates through it, as he [Rousseau] explores autonomy and authenticity as moral values." Immediately popular upon publication in 1761, the publisher was unable to keep up with demand, resulting in copies being rented by the day "and even by the hour."

This publication, in German, is one of the 200 copies bound in full vellum with extensive gilt trim and lettering by Otto Dorfner and his Fachschule für Kunstgewerbliche Buchbinderei in Weimar, and contains ten heliogravures from Moreau le jeune made in the shop of Franz Hanfstaegl in Munich.

___DESCRIPTION: Bound in full vellum with a decorative gilt border on both boards and a gilt decoration in the middle of the front board, gilt decorations and lettering on the spine, top edge gilt, fore- and bottom edges rough-cut, marbled endpapers, the ten heliogravures bound in throughout, limitation statement at the colophon, this one of 200 copies bound in full vellum from a total edition of 1200 copies; printed in Didot-Antiqua on Zander laid paper by Mänicke und Jahn of Rudolstadt, quarto size (9 7/8" by 7 7/8"), pagination: [1-6] 7-382 [colophon].

___CONDITION: Near fine overall, the vellum boards clean with some natural variation, the bottom front corner gently bumped and the other corners all straight without rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright with several signatures unopened, and entirely free of prior owner markings; one small mark on the back board, a bit of soiling to the spine, the front board slightly bowed (as is common with vellum bindings), and some old bookseller pencil notes on the flyleaf.

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Price: $500.00