Rare Creole Plantation Novel

L'Habitation Saint-Ybars ou Maitres et Esclaves en Louisiane, Récit Social.

Nouvelle-Orléans: Imprimerie Franco-Américaine, 1881.

First edition. 234 pp. 8vo. Rare Creole Plantation Novel. Later marbled boards, red leather spine label, original yellow printed front wrapper backed and bound-in. Some occasional light spotting to text Item #314215

The rare first edition of this plantation novel set in antebellum Louisiana, the most important novel of the Creole author Alfred Mercier (1816-1894). The work is an early example of American Naturalism, "notable for its depiction of antebellum Louisiana plantation life, its portrayal of both positive and negative relationships between masters and slaves, and its rendering of dialogue in Creole patois" (ANB).

Mercier (1816-1894) was born in Louisiana and educated in Paris. He abandoned the study of law to pursue a writing career, but later practiced medicine in New Orleans to supplement his meager earnings. Mercier was dedicated to the preservation of French Creole culture, to the point of supporting the South in the Civil War though opposed to slavery. To that end he founded the Athénée Louisianais in 1876 for the preservation of the French language in Louisiana and the encouragement and aid of Creole artists and authors. "Through the process of constructing a literary sanctuary wherein French Louisiana was central rather than marginal, Alfred Mercier advanced and inspired a unique culture and created one of its most voluminous and diverse legacies" (ANB).

Price: $3,500.00 Free International Delivery