MENARD, L. Rêveries d’un Païen Mystique. Préface de Maurice Barrès ….. Portrait gravé à l’eau-forte par G. Noyon. Paris, A. Durel, 1909. With engraved portrait. [6, portrait included], xxxv, , 182,  pp. 8vo (15,5 x 22,5 cm). Brown jansenist style morocco, spine with raised bands and gilt lettering, all edges gilt, gilt inside dentelles, original covers and spine preserved, binding signed “David.”
Maitron, DBMOF, iii, pp. 78-79; Sandra W. Dolbow, Dictionary of Modern French Literature, p. 203; Carteret, Trésor du Bibliophile, vol. ii, p. 127 for the 1876 and 1895 edition but not listing this one; Talvart & Place, Bibliographie des Auteurs modernes, xiv, 172. Rare edition “de luxe”, with a nice engraved portrait and a nice preface by Maurice Barrès. This is number 74 of 200 copies printed, “petit in 8vo, numérotés à la presse (1 à 200) sur beau papier velin d’Arches, fabriqué spécialement pour cette édition.” “Ecrivain d’un talent universel”, Ménard was a poet, inventor, philosopher and historian of religions, political pamphleteer and painter. He was a student with Baudelaire at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, and active supporter of the 1848 revolution: his Prologue d’une Révolution is very rare and an important work dealing with this revolution and its causes. It was published in Proudhon’s Le Peuple in 1848-1849 and earned him 15 months in prison. On his release he went into exile in London and Brussels where he found his friends Louis Blanc and Blanqui again and where he befriended Marx and Engels. After the amnesty of 1859 he returned to Paris and from then on devoted himself primarily to the arts. He found in polytheism a social and moral guide, a union of order and liberty in which reason, imagination, art, religion, and politics could flourish. His best known work is the present work: a mixture of mystical poetry, philosophical dialogues and a number of much admired tales. The work exercised a profound influence on among others Barrès, R. de Montesquiou, Anatole France, Leconte de Lisle, etc. – Exlibris Georges Vandaele on free front end paper, a beautiful copy with its original covers and spine preserved, printed on beautiful paper with large margins.