With the Suppressed Plates by Naudet
BEAUMARCHAIS, Pierre Augustin Caron de. Folle Journée, ou Le Mariage de Figaro. Comédie en cinq actes, en prose. Kehl: De l'Imprimerie de la Société Littéraire-Typographique , 1785.
First edition, second printing. Royal octavo. [li], 199 pp. plus the errata leaf and five engravings by Saint–Quentin. Together with the excessively rare suppressed suite of engravings by Naudet laid in at end.

Full 19th century red morocco decoratively stamped in gilt; gilt board edges and dentelles; all edges gilt; marbled endpapers. Faint foxing, primarily to preliminary and terminal leaves. An extremely attractive copy. Housed in a custom quarter red morocco clamshell case.

The suite of five engravings by Naudet was executed for an edition which was never printed, and the plates were subsequently suppressed. They are especially rare when seen with their full margins, as here.

Le Mariage de Figaro, Beaumarchais’ masterpiece, influenced French literature by reviving the “comedy of intrigue,” which had declined since Molière. In addition, Le Mariage de Figaro was one of the first plays which fully incorporated Diderot’s theories of acting and stage–craft.

“In 1784, the year of its first performance, it was repeated sixty–six times...

“Public interest was whetted by its satirical references to the aristocracy, and it was this that first won it fame. Although greeted with enthusiasm by French society, it in fact contributed largely to its destruction. It is, however, the music of Mozart which has immortalized it as the perfect type of comedy...”

Cohen-Ricci pp. 125/6. Printing and the Mind of Man 230.

HBS # 66809 $5,000