Fairy Tales

AULNOY (Marie Catherine Le Jumel de Barneville, Countess of)

Les Fées à la mode, ou le Nouveau Gentilhomme Bourgeois. Par Madame D**.

Amsterdam, chez Michel Charles Le Cens, 1724-1725.

Four volumes bound in two, 12mo, contemporary dark brown calf, blind-stamped fillet around sides, gilt spines with raised bands, red edges. [1] 222 pp. (including the frontispiece and the title in red and black), [2] engraved frontispiece and title in red and black, 230 pp., [3] 229 pp. (including the frontispiece and the title in red and black), [4] engraved frontispiece, title in red and black, 216 pp. Together, 4 frontispieces and 13 half-page (unsigned) engraved illustrations. Complete.

Charming early 18th-century edition of Madame d’Aulnoy’s celebrated fairy tales.

When she termed her works ‘Contes de Fées’ (fairy tales), Madame d’Aulnoy (1650-1705) originated the term that is now generally used for the genre. Her fairy tales and adventure stories, as told in Les Contes de Fées (Tales of Fairies) and Contes Nouveaux, or Les Fées à la Mode, were very popular, exceeding the success of her contemporary Charles Perrault. Unlike the folk tales of the Grimm brothers, who were born some 135 years later than Madame d’Aulnoy, she told her stories in a more conversational style, as they might be told in salons. Her stories were far from suitable for children.

Slight marginal paper loss on pp. 45 & 53 and tear without loss on p. 165 of the second part. A bit short at the head in some places. Generally, a very good copy in period binding.