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Salammbô, by Gustave Flaubert, illustrated by Georges Rochegrosse. 1900. One of 200 copies on Japanese paper. After the First Punic War, Carthage is unable to fulfill the promises made to its army of mercenaries and finds itself under attack. Salammbô, a priestess and the daughter of Hamilcar Barca, an aristocratic Carthaginian general, is the object of the obsessive lust of Matho, a leader of the mercenaries. This book followed the success of Madame Bovary, by the same author. Flaubert traveled to Carthage to gather material for this novel. The two volumes were bound by Marius Magnin, with beautiful onlays of Egyptian motifs on the covers. The doublures are made of leather and silk. Notice the initials of the original owner, E.L., in the corners. Georges Antoine Rochegrosse (1859-1938) was a French historical and decorative painter. He illustrated several books in an arousing and sometimes cruel naturalistic style. His painting Le chevalier aux fleurs (The Knight of the Flowers) is in the Museum d’Orsay in Paris. Some of the drawings for his illustrations are in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum, in London. The watercolor, not from the book, shows a fatherless family leaving a burning town during WW I.

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