Lot 139
Lord Henry Seymour's copy of Cosima by G. Sand

Estimate: $80 - $100

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About this Lot

“George SAND” [Amantine Aurore Lucile DUPIN, later Baronne Dudevant (1804-1876)]. Cosima ou la haine dans l'amour: drame en cinq actes précédé d'un prologue par George Sand. Paris: Bonnaire, Tresse, 1840. Octavo (8 ¼ x 5in; 210 x 127mm). Pp. [i-iv; 1-]152. Half-title. (Spotted). Contemporary French red calf-backed marbled paper-covered boards, spine gilt, gilt stamp on upper cover (initial ‘HS’ on a shield, the shield surmounted by a coronet containing a couped eagle). Provenance: Lord Henry Seymour (1805-1859, binding).

Attractive copy of an important work: the first edition of George Sand’s drama set in Florence – the work was a failure initially but can now be seen as part of Sand’s exploration of herself and of women’s place in society.

“As Sand states in the preface, Cosima exemplifies an attempt to establish a new genre of theater by giving a voice to the “moi intérieur” of the heroine. Cosima brings to the stage the domestic isolation of women and the inability of society to understand her plight, her only avenue of escape is suicide. Claudie continues Sand's endeavor to bring psychological realism, as Gay Manifold identifies it, to the stage and plays an integral role in the transformation of the heroine. Unlike Cosima, Claudie is able to escape the domestic isolation and seclusion of married women. Through a study of the feminine topos, Cravens probes the possibility of Sand not only staging the inner struggle of women in Cosima and Claudie, but that of herself, as well.” (abstract of Staging a Heroine in George Sand: The Path from Cosima to Claudie by Arline Cravens, published in Women in French Studies  Special Issue, Volume 5, 2014).

Lord Henry Seymour “founder of the Jockey Club at Paris, was the younger son of Francis Charles Seymour Conway, third marquis of Hertford, by Maria Fagniani, adopted daughter of George Augustus Selwyn (1719–1791). …  Lord Henry was born in Paris on 18 Jan. 1805, his father, then Lord Yarmouth, having been detained in France on landing there just after the rupture of the treaty of Amiens. Lord Yarmouth was released in 1806 through Fox's intercession with Talleyrand, but his wife remained in France, and Lord Henry is said, though this is a manifest exaggeration, never to have set foot in England. In 1856 he inherited his mother's large fortune. In 1833 he was one of the eighteen founders of a society for the encouragement of horse-breeding in France, to which was attached the Jockey Club, and his horses repeatedly won prizes at the Bois de Boulogne and Chantilly races. A prominent member of the aristocratic society of Paris, he was noted for his eccentricities, and in the carnivals of 1834 and 1835 he attempted to introduce the Italian custom of throwing comfits and coins among the crowd. He died in Paris, unmarried, on 16 Aug. 1859, and was buried in his mother's vault at Père-Lachaise. He bequeathed money for the support of four favourite horses, which were never again to be saddled, and left the residue of his property, about 36,000l. a year, to the Paris hospitals.” (Wikisource).

 Vicaire VII:213.

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