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1845 Book Guide de Conversation Francais-Anglais French English

  • Item: BK1003
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This a book titled "Guide de la conversation Francais-Anglais" written by L. Smith, edited by Charles Hingray, and published in Paris in 1845. It appears to be the first edition.

It is a diminutive pocket size book (12x7.5 cm), but packed with 372 pages of tiny print. The book was published in France and the three page preface is written in French, and may have been written for French travelers to England or possibly the US, but because the entirety of the book is split page French and English, it may have just as likely been purchased by Englishmen while visiting France and carried in hand (the authors were likely Englishmen living in France). About a third of it is straight definitions, but the remainder two thirds are phrases, organized somewhat by topic (engaging a maid, buying a horse, etc.) and tense. It contains practical translations such as "Do you have any rooms to let?" and "In order that I may have a sword at hand," and appropriate phrases for men and women ("You lace me to tight."). It appears to be written in a somewhat older form of french. It also has sections on weights and measures, abbreviations, and conversion of British, US, and French coins. It even has a section of letters and cards that you may write on bills, invitations, letters of thanks and so forth.

It was obviously well used, and the cover is in somewhat rough shape with loss of cover paper, scuffs and stain, but except for the insect chewed inner leaf page, the pages of the book are in good shape and the spine is intact. The book was signed by one of its owners, and appears to be "R. Twain Giffins New York April 22, 1861." There is a sticker that says it was sold by Abraham Maze books of 237 Bleecker St., New York. It appears to be rare.

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