Zola, Émile, French writer (1840-1902). Autograph letter signed.

Paris, 12. XI. 1863.

8vo. 2 pp.


In French, to an editor at the republican daily "Le Phare de la Loire" and the monthly "Le monde maçonnique", possibly Victor Mangin (1819-67), concerning Émile Littré’s important "Dictionnaire de la langue française". Zola apologizes to the recipient for sending him the first instalment of the "Dictionnaire" instead of Littré’s "Auguste Comte et la philosophie positive" (Paris, Hachette 1863), explaining that the work on Comte is sold out and that he will send a copy as soon as the second edition has appeared. With respect to the "Dictionnaire", he offers the recipient to keep it, while asking him to "cover up" his responsibility by publishing a longer article on the dictionary in "Le Phare de la Loire" and "also a word" in "Le Monde maçonnique", as well as "twenty lines" in both journals for every new instalment.

After four financially difficult years as a bohemian in Paris, Zola was hired by the publisher Louis Hachette in 1862. Since Zola started as a low-level employee, the embarrassment expressed in the letter might very well be genuine. On the other hand, Zola soon earned Hachette’s respect and trust, rising to an important position in the public relations department of the publishing house. It is therefore not impossible that the "mistake" was part of a publicity campaign for Littré’s dictionary.

On stationery with printed letterhead of Hachette. With minimal browning and two restored tears.

Stock Code: BN#54500 Tag: