[SADE, Donatien Alphonse François, marquis de (1740-1814).] La Nouvelle Justine, ou les malheurs de la vertu, suivie de l’histoire de Juliette, sa soeur. En Hollande: [but Paris: Bertrandet,] 1797 [1799, 1801].
10 volumes, duodecimo (132 x 80 mm). Half-title in vols 1 and 6-10, and with the leaf of nota bene in volume 1. Complete with 101 engraved plates, including the frontispiece in volume 1, all attributed to Bornet. (Half-title of vol. 5 strengthened in the inside margin, damp-staining in vol.9 affecting some plates, some light browning, occasional scattered spotting, occasional light wear.) Contemporary calf [vols. 1-4], flat spines gilt in compartments with a morocco label titled and numbered in gilt, edges gilt, pink endpapers; and contemporary half calf [vols. 5-10], flat spines with blue title label gilt and black numbering label gilt, the other compartments centred with a small star tool in gilt, blue-green marbled paper sides, sprinkled edges (vols 1-4: front joint of vol. 1 splitting, small losses to spine caps; vols 5-10: endpapers renewed, front joint of vol. 5 splitting, some wear to the label, some spines with expert repairs). Provenance: Roger Peyerfitte (label laid into volume 1).
VERY RARE TRUE FIRST EDITION OF THE DEFINITIVE VERSION OF SADE’S MASTERPIECE, AND ONE OF THE RAREST LANDMARKS OF LITERATURE: perhaps less than five copies are known complete in ten volumes. In this greatly expanded version Sade makes the dramatic change to third person narrative: unburdened from the chaste voice of Justine, Sade gives his narrator the full measure of his considerable erotic imagination and vocabulary. Sade returned to Justine galvanized by the horrors of the Terror; once again incarcerated, Sade could see from his prison the guillotine taking its grim toll on the many perceived enemies of the revolution: Sade records that 1800 were buried in the nearby garden in the space of a month. La Nouvelle Justine, in ten volumes richly illustrated with engraved plates throughout, was the most ambitious clandestine erotic publication to date. Its publication led to Sade’s arrest and incarceration for life, without trial, in the Charenton Asylum. The complex publication history of this work was fully elucidated by Ract-Madoux: this true first edition includes the leaf of nota bene in volume 1, and has title-pages with consecutive volume numbers throughout. The first four volumes were printed in 1799, with the majority of the stock seized and destroyed by the police in August 1800. In February 1801 the six volumes of Juliette were offered for sale and sold out quickly. As a result COMPLETE SETS OF THE TRUE FIRST EDITION OF SADE'S MOST INFLUENTIAL AND NOTORIOUS WORK ARE VERY RARE. And, because of this gap, sets in a uniform strictly contemporary binding are an impossibility. Dutel A-601, 602; Eros invaincu 50-51; Ract-Madoux, ‘L’èdition originale de la Nouvelle Justine et Juliette’ in Bulletin du Bibliophile, pp. 139-158.