Tuesday, April 10, 2012

LE PETIT PRINCE / THE LITTLE PRINCE

The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint Exupery
1960/61 Harcourt, Brace & World
Recently, I have found some very beautiful copies of both The Little Prince (on left), and Le Petit Prince (French language, below.)  It is always exciting when you know you have found a jewel, and I have been lucky enough to find many lately.  I don't know if I have gotten into this very much, but books came to me, not the other way around.  As a designer, there are many things that inspire me, so I guess my radar is always up, but when it comes to vintage/ antique books, I truly feel that they came into my life as a calling, as equally as art and design. >>As always, book titles on my blog link to their listings on my Etsy site<<

I first read the French version of Le Petit Prince in my French language class in middle school.  It is a classic for many reasons, although I believe any book that is considered a classic, is deemed so more due to intuition and emotion than to any in-depth critique of literary style, cultural context, design elements, etc.  In other words, you know when you know - and I knew when I was 13, before any discussion or critique, that this particular work of art stood out and transcended the categorical bounds of "children's book."

Le Petit Prince by Antoine De Saint Exupery
1957, nrf Gallimard
The copy above is an English version by Harcourt, Brace & World.  Before circa. 1961, they were known as Harcourt, Brace and Company and are the second rights holders (as of 1948) to this title after the original publisher: Reynal & Hitchcock, Inc. (who published the first editions in 1943.)  This copy is most likely from 1960/61 because of the publisher name and the $3.75 price located on the dust jacket flap.

The copy to the left is a French version published by nrf Gallimard, in 1957 (they began printing ediitons in 1945.)  This publisher was the first contracted publisher for this title, but there was confusion and Reynal & Hitchcock, Inc. were righted the publication of the first editions.  The interesting thing about this French version, is the wealth of printing information stated throughout the book (mostly in the back few pages.)  I will translate here the French printing statements located in the book:
"Ten thousand numbered copies between 45,051 and 55,050 were released after the original by Paul Bonet.
Copy 48,985."

AND

"All printings from the Paul Dupont presses in Paris were finished on December 1st 1957.
Edition: #6022
Impression: #6641
Legal Deposit: 1947
Printed in France"

>>Refernces: Rassemblement du Petit Prince




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