DAUDET, Alphonse. Les Femmes D'artistes. Paris: Printed by J. Claye for Alphonse Lemerre, 1874.
8vo, in late-Victorian half red crushed morocco over marbled boards, spine gilt in compartments, lettered directly in one, others with central gilt floral design, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt, green silk marker; eau-forte frontispiece after caricaturist André Gill, with decorated initial capitals and head- and tail-pieces to all chapters; pp. [x], 177, [ix]; extremities a little rubbed, spine a touch faded, age-toned internally but very good in a nice binding.
First edition. Notoriety, faithfulness, gossip, love and style are Alphonse Daudet's subjects in these little-known stories about the strained relations between artists and their spouses. Daudet, known as the French Dickens, has an unerring eye for that eternal triangle-artist husband, model wife, and fickle fame. Alphonse Daudet (1840-1897) was part of the French naturalist group of writers. In 1867 Daudet married Julia Allard but was far from faithful, and was one of a generation of French literary syphilitics. It is not impossible that some part of his own sexual appetite, and its relation to his own marriage, may well have shaped something of the way he approached writing this work.