Cinq prières dans la cathédrale de Chartres par Charles Péguy

For several years the University Library has been the beneficiary of generous gifts from the library of the Institut français du Royaume-Uni. A lovely little volume of Péguy’s poetry which arrived as part of the most recent donation from the Institut is worth highlighting, primarily due to the striking images by Nathalie Parain.

bloggif2Of Russian origin, and wife of the philosopher Brice Parain, Parain began to illustrate books in the early 1930s, soon after their arrival in France from the Soviet Union. As well as this volume, she also illustrated at least three other volumes of Charles Péguy’s poetry—only one of which is available on COPAC (Sainte Geneviève : dix poèmes de Charles Péguy et trente-six images de Nathalie Parain, Gallimard, 1951, at The London Library). Further examples of her illustrations of children’s books are available at the website of one of her publishers, Éditions MeMo.

IMG_2736This joins our collection of books illustrated by Nathalie Parain, almost all of which are in the Waddleton Collection in the Rare Books department, which has a focus on colour-printed illustrations.

By chance the original publisher’s advertisement still survives, inserted into our copy of the book, including the publisher’s description and price (220 Francs).

Josh Hutchinson

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