BERNARD, Catherine. Inés de Cordoüe
Paris: [Martin et George Jouvenel?], 1697.
12mo, disbound and tipped into modern wrappers. Title-page dusty, a little stained, chipped at head, otherwise, though cut rather close, a very good copy; autograph signature of John Fowles dated 1963 and his ownership stamp, together with notes on three inserted slips, two typed, one manuscript.
A novel famous for the two fairy tales framed within it, 'The Rosebush Prince' and 'Riquet of the Tuft', the second of which predates the more familiar version told by Perrault. This was the first of a succession of fairy stories that appeared in France in the sixteen-nineties and which laid the foundations of the entire genre, preceding Perrault's Contes de ma Mère l'Oye (1697) and Madame d'Aulnoy's Contes des Fées (1697) and Contes Nouveaux ou Les Fées à la Mode (1698). Bernard appears to have been a woman of strong and persistent character, determined to support herself through writing. She nonetheless struggled financially and survived precariously on the monetary prizes awarded for her work. Her novels express a very negative view of relations between the sexes and clearly expresses the disenfranchised position of women during that period. The typescript notes presumably by John Fowles provide a view that this volume could be a Dutch printed piracy as have an identical armillary sphere title device to a Dutch pirated edition of Perrault in the same year. Reiss (1992) The Meaning of Literature p.210; Makward & Cottenet-Hage (1996) Dictionnaire littéraire des femmes de langue française p.63. OCLC 5 locations (3 Dutch, 1 German & 1 Danish).
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