Title: Ouvres Completes de P.-J. de Beranger
Publisher: Perrotin, Paris
Publication Date: 1847
Edition: First edition.
Two volumes Royal octavo. full blue morocco, spine with raised bands and lettered in gilt, inside morocco gilt dentelles, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt. Profusely illustrated with engravings and facsimiles of letters. Pierre-Jean de Bˇranger (19 August 1780 Ð 16 July 1857) was a prolific French poet and chansonnier (songwriter), who enjoyed great popularity and influence in France during his lifetime, but faded into obscurity in the decades following his death. He has been described as "the most popular French songwriter of all time" and "the first superstar of French popular music".His songs (such as Le Vieux Drapeau), helped to bring about the revolution of 1830, and he played a part, with his friends Lafitte and Lafayette, in placing Louis Philippe I upon the throne, but refused all the appointments proffered by the king and his ministers; he simply desired to live as a philosopher, content with the income from the sale of his songs, and preserving his personal independence. He did, however, ask for a pension for his friend, Rouget de Lisle, author of the Marseillaise, who was now old and poor, and had been dependent on him for five years. In 1833, his 5th volume of songs was published.After the French Revolution of 1848, and despite his own reluctance, he was elected to the Constituent Assembly by so large a number of votes (204,471) that he felt himself obliged to accept the seat. Not long afterwards, with great difficulty, he obtained leave to resign. This was the last public event of Bˇranger's life.Bˇranger has been described as "the most popular French songwriter of all time", and it is certainly true that, in the 19th century, no nation had a lyricist whose influence on his fellow countrymen compared to that exercised by Bˇranger on the citizens of Paris.From a comparatively early date, he resolved to write songs for the people. He was helped in this regard by Emile Debraux, who had often stood between him and the masses as interpreter, and given him the keynote of the popular humour. Now, he had observed in the songs of sailors, and workers, a prevailing tone of sadness; and so, as he grew more masterful in this sort of expression, he sought more and more after what is deep, serious and constant in the thoughts of common men. The evolution was slow; and we can see in his own works examples of every stage, from that of witty indifference in fifty pieces of the first collection, to that of grave and even tragic feeling in Les Souvenirs du peuple or Le Vieux Vagabond. And this innovation involved another, which was as a sort of prelude to the great romantic movement. -Wikipedia. Spine a little darkened, light occasional foxing and browning, else fine. Contemporary old name in ink on half title in volume II. Bookseller Inventory # 31080
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