[GOLD RUSH] Un oncle d’Australie
Paris : Ancienne Libraire Furne, Boivin & Cie, 3 & 5 rue Palatine, [c 1890]. Quarto, pictorial gilt red cloth (rubbed), spine with gilt decoration (faded, tail bumped), all edges gilt, 286 pp, illustrated with 73 gravures in the text. A very good copy.
A French children’s story in which much of the story is set in Australia – in particular Melbourne and Ballarat. The rather serpentine plot, involving different generations of characters, is centred around the news of an unexpected inheritance – a fortune made on the goldfields, and left by the ‘uncle’ in Melbourne who was thought by the family in France to have perished many years ago in a shipwreck. The young heir travels to Australia to claim the inheritance.
Muir (5906) notes an edition by Jouvet and suggests a publication date of 1879, but evidence points to a later date of around 1895. Another edition by Combet is also known, but the publisher’s address for both the Jouvet and Combet editions is identical (5 rue Palatine). This seems to indicate that Combet may have succeeded Jouvet as editor at the Ancienne Librairie Furne. The editions by Boivin (such as this copy) give the Ancienne Librairie Furne address as 3 & 5 rue Palatine, which suggests the business had expanded (taking over the building next door) and that the Boivin editions should therefore be dated later than those of Combet and Jouvet. Scarce.