MEMOIRS OF VIDOCQ, AS A CONVICT, SPY, AND AGENT OF THE FRENCH POLICE. Francois Eugene Vidocq.

MEMOIRS OF VIDOCQ, AS A CONVICT, SPY, AND AGENT OF THE FRENCH POLICE. London: I. J. Chidley, 123, Aldersgate Street, n.d. [1840s]. 12mo, pp. [i-iii] iv-vi [i] ii-xii [1] 2-562, engraved title leaf and eight inserted plates with illustrations by Thomas Onwhyn, original pictorial red cloth, front and rear panels stamped in blind, spine panel stamped in gold, all edges untrimmed, yellow coated endpapers. First complete one-volume edition? No holdings for this edition can be found in any of the libraries of COPAC, leaving some uncertainty about its exact bibliographic status. What is known and what seems likely are as follows: the first English translation of this work was issued in four volumes by Hunt and Clarke in 1828-1829. (Oxford also records another edition in 4 volumes in 1829 from Whittaker, Treacher and Arnet.) A one-volume edition appeared in 1859 in the Bohn Library and also from T. B. Peterson in the U.S., the latter running to 562 pages, the same page count as the present edition and, one may reasonably suspect, of the Bohn Library edition as well. That would place this Chidley edition somewhere between 1829 and 1859 (confirmed by a gift inscription dated July 1847 on the front free endpaper). Chidley brought out an earlier undated edition (circa 1840) titled THE LIFE AND EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF VIDOCQ. This edition consisted of only 206 pages and, therefore, may have been the first of a projected multi-volume edition. What seems likely is that this is the first complete one-volume edition of VIDOCQ -- an important probable influence on Poe's creation of Dupin. See Queen's Quorum, pp. 8-9. Queen, The Detective Short Story, pp. 107-08. July 1847 gift inscription on the front free endpaper. Some foxing and age-darkening to plates, several hairline cracks along outer joints, but a very good copy with clean binding and bright spine stamping. A very uncommon edition of this book. (#149456).

Price: $750.00

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