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VIDOCQ (Francois Eugene). Mémoires de Vidocq, chef de la Police de Surete, jusqu'en 1827.1828

Paris: Tenon, First edition, 4 vols., 8vo (210 x 135 mm), 12, viii, 420; 462; 434; 420pp., signed by Vidocq in the first three volumes as called for, engraved frontispiece portrait in fourth volume, near contemporary full tan (gold) calf by Lewis, central gilt blocked arms of the 3rd Earl of Clare to both upper and lower cover of each volume, spines gilt extra, edges red, with some minor rubbing otherwise a fine set. Eugene Vidocq (1775-1857) adventurer and detective who helped create the "secret police" in France and considered the father of modern criminology. Dismissed in 1832 for a theft that he allegedly organised, Vidocq had created a private police agency police de sûreté, the prototype of modern detective agencies. Known all over France as a remarkably audacious man, Vidocq was a friend of such authors as Victor Hugo, Honoré de Balzac, Eugène Sue, and Alexandre Dumas père. Several works were published under Vidocq's name, but it is doubtful that he wrote any of them. The figure of Vidocq is believed to have inspired Balzac's creation of the criminal genius Vautrin, one of the most vivid characters to appear in his novelistic series La Comédie humaine (The Human Comedy). Provenance: 3rd Earl of Clare; From the residual library of Charles Butler (1821-1910), Warren Wood in Hatfield, Hertfordshire. The majority of the library was sold at Sotheby's, London, on 5 April 1911.

Stock #36688

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