The copy in the Koopman Collection is a copy with extra illustrations, bound in leather by L. Bernard: besides the illustrations made by René Lelong for La leçon d'amour dans un parc, the book also contains 15 engravings by Denis Volx published in 1921 by book dealer Blaizot as a separate set, without any text. (This artistsigned his etchingswith the name Volx, but his real name was Louis Jean-Marie Denis Valvérane). More copies of this book, similarly enhanced with illustrations, are known to exist. Both artists responded well to the elegance and sophisticated sense of humour of author René Boylesve (René Tardiveau's pseudonym). The book was illustrated in his age by Sylvain Sauvage, Carlègle, Brunelleschi, and many others, but it is not reprinted all that often nowadays. Lelong was one of the few illustrators to have worked on the sequel, Les nouvelles leçons d'amour dans un parc, which followed seven years later.
Boylesve, who was elected a member of the Académie Française in 1919, was known for two kinds of novel: he wrote books about provincial life that were sensitive and sombre, while also writing more elegant books about love that were sometimes considered overly erotic. The lessons in love of La leçon d'amour dans un parc challenged illustrators to draw attractive, half-naked ladies and gentlemen in compromising positions. The park, where the lessons in love are taught, is a recurring element in all the illustrations. The trees, shrubbery, fields of grass, flowerbeds and fountains together create a fairy-tale atmosphere.
|Description:||La leçon d'amour dans un parc / René Boylesve ; compositions et ornements de René Lelong. - Paris : Romagnol, 1923. - 157 p. : ill. ; 27 cm|
Leblanc et Trautmann (Paris)
|This copy:||Number 124 of 100 (numbered from 26 to 126) on Japanese paper|
|Note:||With the plates in three states and the vignettes in two states|
|With an extra set of original illustrations by Denis Volx, published by Blaizot (Paris) in 1921|
|Bibliography:||Bénézit 8-14 ; Carteret IV-80 ; Mahé I-352 ; Monod 1861 ; Monod 1851|
|Shelfnumber:||Koopm A 82|
- Auguste Chauvigné, Le jardin secret de René Boylesve: extraits de sa correspondance. Paris, Ferenczi, 1927
- André Bourgeois, René Boylesve et le problème de l'amour. Lille, Giard; Genève, Droz, 1950
- Edmond Lefort, La Touraine de René Boylesve. Tours, Arrault, 1949
Bookbinding by L. Bernard. Inside of upper cover
Illustration by René Lelong (p. 104-105)
Title page of the set of engravings by Denis Volx (Paris, Blaizot, 1921)