Important acquisitions

La Caledonie, ou, La guerre nationale.

Author Fabre, Jean Raymond Auguste
Title La Caledonie, ou, La guerre nationale.
Imprint Paris: Didot
Date of Publication 1823
Language French
Notes This is an epic poem by French poet and journalist Jean-Raymond-Auguste Fabre (1792-1839), written, in 12 books, in the style of Homer and Virgil and with some Ossianic flavour. Fabre worked as editor of the periodical "La semaine" and "La tribune" in the 1820s and was an ardent republican who drew inspiration from peoples' struggles against monarchy and tyranny. "Caledonie" is loosely based on ancient legends and on the text of Roman author Tacitus' work "Agricola" which covers the conquest of Great Britain, including the invasion of the northern part of the island, later to become Scotland. The poem depicts brave Caledonian warriors, with suitably Ossianic names, Olgar, Olnir, Fergus etc. fighting against the Roman invaders. Fabre also wrote a poem in a similar vein based on contemporary events, namely the siege of Missolonghi in 1825-26, during the Greek war of independence from the Ottoman empire. This copy is bound in contemporary polished calf in gilt and blind by the firm of Bradel of Paris with their label, and has the gilt initials 'P.B.' on the covers. It was subsequently owned by two famous book collectors who added their book labels to the front pastedown. The first of these is Mortimer Loeb Schiff's red morocco gilt book label. Schiff (1877?1931), sometimes known as Mortimer Leo Schiff, was an American banker who assembled an important collection of decorative bindings, illustrated books and signed bindings. The book was sold at auction by Sotheby's on 5 July 1938 (lot 784) and purchased by the English bibliophile Major J.R. Abbey. He in turn added his own green morocco gilt book label. The book was sold again by Sotheby's in 1967 (June 20th, lot 1846).
Shelfmark Bdg.s.964
Reference Sources Seymour de Ricci, British and miscellaneous signed bindings in the Mortimer L. Schiff collection, New York, 1935, vol. II, 152
Acquired on 29/01/16
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