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La Garde-Chambonas’ Voyage to Moscow

SKU: 9537
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La Garde-Chambonas’ Voyage to Moscow

Date of publication:

  • 1825
  • Binding:

  • original publisher's boards
  • La garde-chambonas, Auguste Louis Charles de Messence, comte deVoyage dans quelques parties de l'Europe, par le comte de Lagarde... Seconde édition

    Little is known of La Garde-Chambonas: he is described on the title-page as 'citoyen polonais', but appears to have spent much of his life in London. According to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France database, he was born in Paris in 1783, and (probably) died in 1853; he was not the son of, but was presumably related to, Victor Scipion de La Garde de Chambonas (1750-1830), Louis XVI's foreign minister. Read more

    The addressee of the letters may have been Julius Griffiths, author of Travels in Europe, Asia Minor and Arabia (1805).What is, however, clear is that La Garde was an amusing and probably unorthodox man. His letters to Griffith are unusually affectionate, and his behaviour impulsive: he delays his departure from Moscow (in 1811) as a result of going for a walk by the lagoons, reflecting on 'ce désir inquiet qui nous porte à former de nouvelles liaisons', at which point he falls into conversation with an acquaintance, an 'aimable jeune homme' whom he names as 'Serge de Z***', i.e. Zibin.

    The latter invites himself on the writer's journey, and they agree to travel together, Zibin bringing his violin to accompany La Garde's guitar. Quite early on in their travels, they walk past a château, and cannot resist playing on the swing on the terrace; but when they are surprised by the owners of the house, the young men summon up enough charm to be invited in for tea. Eventually something goes wrong, however, and Serge decides to return to Russia in July: La Garde writes '[il] me quittait quand je connoissais tout le prix de son amitié'. The freshness of the book is in striking contrast to many of the other travelogues of the time.

    Condition & Materials

    With the author's presentation inscription to a Monsieur Bléton: 'offert en témoignage / de ma sincère affection…'. Original publisher's boards, somewhat chipped, marked and worn, with spine partially defective (although barely affecting text). Scarce thus. The second edition of Voyage de Moscou à Vienne, par Kiow, Odessa, Constantinople, Bucharest et Hermanstadt: ou lettres adressées à Jules Griffith… (Paris... & Strasbourg...: Treuttel & Würtz, 1824). The original boards of this edition retain most of the original title, although the text was reset and printed in London, by Moyes of Greville Street. (The frontispiece portrait in some copies of the Paris edition is lithographed by Engelmann, while others contain the same Hullmandel frontispiece as this one.)

    Second edition of the same work (see above entry), published in London. The text of this edition was printed in London by Moyes, of Greville Street; the 1836 reprint (also described on the title-page as 'seconde édition') was printed by the same firm, by then at Bouverie Street.


    Koç 238a.

    Neither edition in Blackmer or Atabey; Koç 238a.
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