Lot n° 32
80000 - 100000
Result with fees
: 69 440EUR
CHATEAUBRIAND François-René de (1768-1848).
80 L.A. (most of them signed with an initials) and one L.S., 1824- 1826, to Cordélia GREFFULHE, countess of CASTELLANE; 179 pages in-4 and 57 pages in-8, mounted on tabs, and bound in one volume of black embossed percaline, smooth spine with cold filets and name of the author in gilt letters (19th c. binding; upper hinge cracked; repair to the last letter)
Precious and very beautiful correspondence from Chateaubriand to the one who was his great love.
Cordélia Greffulhe (1796-1847), daughter of a banker ennobled by the Restoration, had married in 1813 the future marshal of Castellane. At 57 rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré she had a very frequented salon where Mérimée, Molé (who was for a time her lover), Thiers, Béranger, Arago, Villemain met. In 1823, she became the mistress of Chateaubriand, then Minister of Foreign Affairs. For her, he abandoned Juliette Récamier who, wounded, left for Rome to forget her fickle lover. After his dismissal from the ministry in 1824, this passion evolved into a tender friendship, attested by this abundant correspondence, full of great affection, when the lovers are separated. In the early letters, there is frequent mention of the "abbé", a veiled substitute for the lover, who is eagerly awaiting news. When Cordelia de Castellane leaves for Italy, Chateaubriand follows her in his mind, with the nostalgic memory of the places he loved, and tells her, in long letters, which are like a diary (some letters covering several days), the smallest incidents of his daily life, between his two cats, and his steps to get closer to his wife, who, outraged by the treatment inflicted on her husband, and tired of his infidelities, took refuge in Switzerland, in Neuchâtel. He also talks about his political fights in the Chamber of Peers, in opposition, in favor of liberties; about his work as a writer, while he prepares for Ladvocat (with whom he negotiates a treaty to protect himself from the need) the edition of his Complete Works, and writes the Memoirs from Beyond the Grave; his serious financial difficulties, which will force him into exile, and the Marie-Thérèse Infirmary; his other ladies-in-waiting, Juliette Récamier or the Duchess of Duras. Cordelia will give her features to the mistress of the Duke of Guise, Marcelle de Castellane, in the Life of Rancé.
Most of the letters bear at the top, in ink, the places and dates of reception in the hand of the addressee; they are signed with a simple crossed out C, a "Ch" or a cross. A letter is dictated to his secretary, Hyacinthe Pilorge, because of rheumatism (June 7, 1826). The later copy of a poem was attached to the letter of January 3, 1826. Some passages were crossed out later in pencil, for publication in 1925-1927, and remained unpublished; likewise, most of the names indicated by an initial were completed in pencil. The first of the letters, dated June 7, 1824, is a bill which announces: "I am no longer a minister. I will always see you at two o'clock." The last letter is dated July 21, 1826.
These long letters are exceptional, as Chateaubriand himself indicates (December 24-27, 1825): "I no longer recognize myself when I see these long letters that I write to you; I, who have never written more than a dozen lines in my life to my friends. We can only give here a quick overview.
1824 (10 letters). In September, Chateaubriand evokes the death of Louis XVIII, which distresses him, "because I loved the king all the same, and I recognized in him several qualities of a great sovereign"; his pamphlet Le roi est mort: Vive le roi (The King is Dead: Long Live the King), and he is enraged against "this impolitic and abominable censorship" (Sept. 14). He attends "the translation of the remains of the late king" in Saint-Denis (Sept. 24). He evokes his political fight: "My loyalty will disarm neither the low jealousies nor the injustice, and it will be necessary that I still claim the public liberties, which one will not return to us, as I have just called all the French around the throne. If the divisions continue, that will not be my fault, and I proved enough that I know how to forget the offenses when it is a question of the interest of the King and the State" (25 Sept.). He refuses the pension of 12 000 francs of Minister of State that one proposes to him: "I cannot be the obligator of MM, de Corbière and Villèle nor to keep silent when the public liberties are attacked; but at the same time this signature of Charles X made me a mortal sorrow to push back"; he deplores the attitude of his wife: "she does not want any more neither to take again the infirmary, nor to return. She always tells me that I am a dupe, that my foolish loyalty is no longer of this time, and that the best thing I can do is to go and join her and leave the wicked or the ungrateful. Besides, she is very ill. I am afraid I will have to make another trip to Neuchatel. (Sept. 26). He would also refuse a
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