This booklet of only a few quires is remarkable because of its origins: it once belonged to M.J. Premsela. This Dutchman, who grew up in bilingual Antwerp, was one of the most important translators from French into Dutch in the first half of the twentieth century. Martin Premsela translated the works of Voltaire, Proust and Molière, amongst others. He also wrote prefaces and annotations for collections by various authors, an autobiography, and a book on French pronunciation titled Ik vind Frans zo’n mooie taal ('I find French such a beautiful language') (1952).
Histoire étonnante first appeared in 1922, and was reprinted by the author himself in 1927. The author, Claude Aveline, was a personal friend of Premsela's. In 1930 he referred to several memorable moments, such as his first arrival at the Amsterdam train station, a conference in Hilversum, and a walk taken together in Aalsmeer. He wrote this down on the first pages of a copy of his schoolbook Pages choisies, which Premsela had translated. Aveline felt great admiration for his Dutch translator, which is also indicated by the personal dedication in Histoire étonnante: 'to M.J. Premsela, a minuscule token of great admiration'. The book was very small, and so was the edition, which only consisted of 100 copies. But it was still large enough to accommodate Premsela's small bookplate.
|Description:||Histoire étonnante, morale et véridique de deux frères marchands en la ville de Valmort: racontée à Hélène / par Claude Aveline. - [Paris]: Aveline, 1927. - 14 p. ; 12 cm|
|Printer:||A. Delayance (La Charité-sur-Loire)|
|Note:||With autograph dedication from Claude Aveline to M.J. Premsela|
|Shelfnumber:||Koopm D 144|
- Claude Aveline, Pages choisies. Zutphen, Thieme, 1930
- M.J. Premsela, Herinneringen van een vertaler. Leiden, Nederlandse Uitgeversmaatschappij, 1955