London, England: H.S. Nichols & Co., 1894. Leather-bound. Edition limited to 500 copies. Binding by Bayntun, Bath, England. Two matching Octavos, measuring 8.625" x 5.75". Dark green textured leather, Triple-ruled in gilt on front and rear boards, with border in blind within. Red spine label with gilt title , and below that brown labels with author and volume #. At very bottom of each volume are a very small, two-line label (.625" x 1.625") upon which are gilt-stamped: "Extra Illustrated / 1894". Lovely turquoise and gray marbled endpapers, and elaborate gilt dentelles bordering both pastedowns, and 1.5" gilded stripes to all outer edges, top, bottom and fore-edge. 16 coloured illustrations. 64 extra illustrations. All edges gilt and two, silk ribbon markers to each volume. Some rubbing to extremities, corners and edges, but very solidly bound. A beautiful set. Very Good Plus. Item #74426
Madame Ducrest was the chief confidante of Empress Josephine after the divorce. Madame Ducrest, purportedly British-born, "lived as Dame de Campagnie, with the empress after the divorce...The...authoress has painted the manners of the courts of Mailmaisonand the Chateau de Navarre in a most natural and lively style...[which] mark the vivacity with which a young ladyof eighteen describes a kind of life then sonew her. The book is full of piquant anecdotes, in the . midst ofwhich the generous and gravious character ofJosephine is prominently displayed...Madame Ducrest introduces anecdotes of manyliving persons of distinction, themeeting with whom in society, as she must have occasion to do, willprobably cause some embarrassment. For instance, what can be more laughable than the story of M. de Clermont Tonnerre, the . minister from whom France was . lately delivered, dancing in 1811, heavy and clumsy as he was, before the . empress and the young ladies of her court, and of the awkward accident which befell him... (Chroniques pour l'Angleterre. Tome VII : 1827-1829, p. 192, by Stendhal).