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Rare follow-up to a curious account of the daily life of a French salesman in South America

GENDRIN, Victor-Athanase.

Récits historiques, exacts et sincères, des sept voyages par mer & par terre. Faits au Brésil, au Cap-Horn, au Chili, aux Cordillères des Andes, à Mendoza, dans le Désert et à Buénos-Ayres … Extrait de la publication de 1856.
Versailles, Gendrin (colophon: imprimerie Cerf), 1860. 8vo. With lithographed portrait of the author as frontispiece, 36 (32 numbered followed by 4 unnumbered) pages with lithographed reproductions of letters, and 9 lithographed plates. Contemporary cloth.

€ 1,450

Presentation copy of a rare publication, presented as an extract from Gendrin's Récit historique, exact et sincère, par mer et par terre, de quatre voyages … published in Versailles 1856. About half of the material is taken from the 1856 edition (the introduction, a poem by Dorlin Père, the author's portrait and 8 plates), but the other half is newly included here: 36 pages with lithographed reproductions of letters received after the 1856 publication.
"Gendrin worked in the upholstery trade in Paris, and in 1816 travelled with his employer who was moving to Rio de Janeiro. After some time he was able to set up his own business, a shop in which he sold snuff, snuff-boxes, mirrors, ..  [etc.] Business proved profitable, but having been informed by French colleagues who travelled to Chile of the good commercial opportunities offered by that country, he sold his shop, invested everything in suitable merchandise, and left for Valpraiso, sailing around Cape Horn. He also set up business in Santiago, … He afterwards crossed the Andes to Buenos Aires and returned to France in 1823. Although he did not make a fortune, he succeeded in saving enough money to provide him with an income for the rest of his life. The Récit historique is an unpretentious narrative of his life in South America. Written with a charming spontaneity and candour, the book tells the life and business of a small shopkeeper in Rio de Janeiro, and a travelling salesman in Chile in Argentina. His remarks about the country and daily life of a shopkeeper during the opening years of the nineteenth century constitute a valuable document of the conditions of the French small commercial establishments in Brazil, which were of such importance in the social life of the capital city. It is to my knowledge the only book in existence about the lives in Brazil of the small French traders, the 'pacotilleurs''' (Borba de Moraes).
With a dedication to ''M. Rouyrre 1861'' on the front board and a manuscript note on the first endpaper: ''Hommage par l'auteur V.A. Gendrin à Monsieur Rouyrre. Versailles. 1881''. Some occasional spots and a tiny tear in the fore-edge margin of about 5 leaves; a good copy.
Palau 101130 note; cf. Borba de Moraes, p. 348; not in Sabin.

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Related Subjects:

Americas  >  Brazil | South America
Cartography & exploration  >  Americas | Voyages & Travel
History, law & philosophy  >  Economics, Numismatiscs & Trade