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LE SAGE, Alain-René (1668--1747)
[Gil Blas. 1749]
Les avantures de Gil Blas de Santillane. Par Monsieur Le Sage. Nouvelle édition, avec des figures. Tome ...
A Londres, chez Jean Nourse,, 1749.
3 vols [ex 4] ; 12.9 cm. (12º)
I: [12], 306, [2] p., [8] pl.
II: [8], 260 p., [8] pl.
III: [12], 291, [1] p., [8] pl.

Volumes I--III only of four. Originally published 1715--35, and corrected by the author in 1747. The present edition is the first English printing of the revised French text. Soane must have been very fond of Le Sage's picaresque novel, as there are copies (some partial) of ten different editions in his Library, in French, English and Italian (qq.v.), some heavily annotated with vocabulary notes, and the book is mentioned in his amanuensis George Wightwick's lively description of his time in Soane's employment in 1826--27, when he was often asked in the evenings to read passages from Gil Blas, punctuated by Soane's exclamations of "P-o-o-r Gil!". See A.T. Bolton, The portrait of Sir John Soane, London 1927, episode 35 (especially pp. 398, 404--5). Soane's copy of the 1778 edition of Smollett's English translation (q.v.) has extensive French and English annotations and vocabulary notes in ink and pencil, some with pencil numbers in the margins apparently referring to page numbers in the present French-language edition, suggesting that Soane used the two texts side by side to improve his French vocabulary. Volume I has a leaf of publisher's advertisements at the end. Volume III includes advertisements on pp. [10] and [292]. Henri Cordier, Essai bibliographique sur les oeuvres d'Alain-René Lesage, Paris, 1910, No. 237. ESTC t134729.

Copy Notes Copy 1: Imperfect; wanting vol. IV. Former owner's inscription on front pastedown scratched out. Inscribed in ink on the first front free-endpaper with a short passage from p. 34, and on the second with page references to the start of the second and third books. With marginal markings of emphasis in pencil throughout the text. Rear free-endpaper inscribed in pencil [son?] maitre/ fenêtre. Traces of blue paper on both pastedowns and a bookseller's code in ink on the rear one. Front free-endpaper of vol. II inscribed John Gay,/ 1750.
Copy 2: Vol. I only. 12.7 cm. Imperfect; wanting pp. 137--140 including the plate facing p. 138. The plates facing p. 24 and p. 90 have been partly coloured.

Binding Copy 1: C18th sprinkled sheep, gilt-decorated spines with floral tools, red and black leather spine-labels.
Copy 2: C18th sprinkled sheep, gilt-decorated spines using same tools as copy 1 - possibly the publisher's binding?

Reference Number 981

Additional Names Gay, John

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