QUERARD, Joseph-Marie (1797-1865). La France littéraire, ou dictionnaire bibliographique des savants, historiens et gens de lettres de la France, ainsi que des littérateurs étrangers qui ont écrit en français, plus particulièrement pendant les XVIIIe et XIXe siècles. Paris: Firmin Didot frères, 1827-39.
8o (220 x 130 mm), 10 volumes. Half-titles. Double column. (Paper browned.) BOUND FOR MARIE-LOUISE AS DUCHESS OF PARMA: contemporary red quarter morocco, flat spines decorated with fillets and key rolls forming compartments and lettered in gilt, finely diapered orange-red paper boards with Marie-Louise's crowned monogram in the center. Provenance: Marie-Louise, Duchess of Parma, widow of Napoleon, remarried twice, added enormously to the library during her Parma years; by bequest and descent to -- Archduke Franz Salvator of Austria-Tuscany -- Martin Breslauer.
Quérard belongs to the distinguished ranks of 19th-century bibliographers who have more than antiquarian value, because they still need to be consulted, such as Brunet, Hain, Steinschneider, Goedeke and Gamba (see lots 76-77). In a footnote to the article on Charles Weiss (v. X, p. 498), he warns us that "notre livre n'est point un "Manuel du libraire et de l'amateur de livres", mais bien une Statistique de la France intellectuelle." And indeed he was the most practical source to which Henri-Jean Martin could turn for his statistics of the evolution of French book production between 1700 and 1820 ("Une croissance séculaire" in: Histoire de l'édition française II, pp. 98-99). Two supplement volumes were published, but not before Marie-Louise died in 1847. This set was bound for her regular use, but handsomely, over a twelve-year period as the volumes appeared; they were done by a single shop, but the paper boards are not strictly uniform.