L’Âme des hommes.

Paris, Bibliothèque de “La Société des Poètes français”, 1904.

8vo, pp. [iv], 32, [iv]; a very good copy in modern quarter morocco, the original printed wrappers (slightly dust-soiled) bound in.


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First and only edition of Jules Romains’ first book, with a signed presentation inscription on the half-title to the French local historian Ulysse Rouchon: ‘à Ulysse Rouchon, ce balbutiement, Jules Romains’.

The poems in this collection, written while the author was still a schoolboy, were published when he was just 19 years of age. Not all the early poems survive: Romains submitted a number of poems in manuscript to the Société des Poètes français, of which about one third were selected and published, and the remainder were lost. The book was printed in a small number of copies and privately distributed by the author; it was never reprinted, and is notoriously scarce - Romains himself is said to have lost his copy in the second world war and was never able to replace it.

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