First English Edition of Balzac's "The Prince"
BALZAC, Jean Louis Guez. Prince. Written in French...Now Translated into English. London: Printed for M. Meighen and G. Bedell , 1648.
First English edition. Twelvemo (5 1/8 x 2 7/8 inches; 130 x 73 mm). [82], 15, 163-326 pp. Bound without final errata leaf.

Bound by Sangorski & Sutcliffe in modern full tan calf. Spine lettered in gilt. Dentelles in blind. Some light worming to top outer margin of leaves E9-K3, not affecting text. Fore-edge lightly soiled and chipped. Overall a very good copy.

Balzac has been acclaimed for his prose innovations which lent a somewhat mannered precision and clarity to French letters. He is also credited with the development of a French national style of prose writing. That is, his emphasis on the "idiomatic elements" of the French language contributed significantly to "the development of the language on national lines" (Encyclopedia Britannica 1913, p. 301).

Balzac's fame can be attributed primarily to his great abilities as a letter writer and to the publication of a collection of Lettres (1634). Originally written as an eulogy of Louis XIII, The Prince was published in 1631 and contains two substantial letters, (together fifty-six pages in length) written to Cardinal Richelieu. He was elected to the Academy Franšaise in 1634.

Wing B615, ESTC R32936

HBS # 64600 $1,500