New York: McClure, Phillips & Co.. Very Good. 1901. Hardcover. 2 p.l. & 212 pages; A remarkably rare and legally significant copy of the 1901 memoirs by Alfred Dreyfus, the French Army officer at the heart of a cruel forgery and subsequent miscarriage of justice known as the "Dreyfus Affair" -- which has reverberated around the civilized world from 1894, when Dreyfus was falsely accused of treason to France, right through to the present day. This copy was never published in any usual sense, nor was it ever offered for sale to the public. In this case, the old saying is incorrect -- one can judge from the cover that this book is different, and special. The front cover has the two-tone cloth and decorative gilt-stamped title (in English), of the normal edition published by McClure, Phillips in New York. But the spine is nearly a half-inch thinner than normal, and has a neatly-handwritten title in French written in ink at the head -- [substituted for the usual U. S. trade edition of the English translation, which displayed a title lettered in gilt, all in capital letters: FIVE / YEARS / OF / MY LIFE / [Fleur de lys device in gilt] ALFRED / DREYFUS / and at bottom McCLURE / PHILLIPS / & CO"]. This made-up French text edition is one of two copies legally filed for copyright at the Library of Congress with the following physical marks in evidence of this remarkable fact: The paper Library of Congress label is mounted with glue to the lower spine -- the LC Classification "DC" is printed, the rest ("354 / D78") is supplied in ink ms. along with the notation at the bottom of the label - "Copy 2". The Library of Congress, "Copyright Deposit" bookplate is mounted to the front paste-down, with penciled class and book numbers repeated from the label on the spine, and the note: "Copy 2". The (blank) front free-endpaper facing this bookplate has the modern Library of Congress "Surplus-Duplicate" stamp in blue ink, (making this copy legally possible to buy and sell). The title page has a perforated stamp: "LIBRARY OF CONGRESS" (there is also an ink stamp in small blue letters: "L. of C." at the foot of page 99). On the copyright page (the verso of the title page), there is a rectangular ink stamp reading: "The Library of Congress | Two Copies Received | April 24 1901 | Copyright Entry | (The Date is repeated and the Class and Number for copyright, different from the Class and book numbers entered on the label, are handwritten in ink) | At the bottom of this retangular stamp is the stamped notation COPY B" There is also, at the foot of this page, a penciled notation with the Class and Book number repeated in pencil, and this is now crossed through with a diagonal line. Finally, the date "APR 24 1901" is also inkstamped at the head of the rear free endpaper. (On the blank recto of this leaf, there is another date stamped in ink: "May. 9. 1901" The verso of the title page has two statements and three short paragraphs which explain what this remarkable copy represents. "Copyright, 1901, By August F. Jaccaci. / Copyright, 1901, By McClure, Phillips, & Co." The first man named, August Florian Jaccaci, was born in Fontainebleau, France in 1856. After traveling extensively in various countries including Mexico and Cuba, he settled in the United States in the early 1880s. He worked briefly as an artist in the Midwest, creating murals on commission, including a mural in the Capitol building in St. Paul, Minnesota. Jaccaci then moved to New York City and worked as art editor for Century magazine (where S. S. McClure was also briefly employed). He became art editor of 'McClure's Magazine' at its founding in 1896. Evidently, S. S. McClure referred to himself, Jacacci, and his partner John Phillips as "The Three Muskeeteers" in the founding of McClure's Magazine. Jaccaci evidently "induced" Alfred Dreyfus to write these memoirs and made the business arrangements for publication in several languages in 1901. It should be noted that Samuel Sidney McClure's first publishing business was McClure's Syndicate (1884), which would become America's first profitable literary syndicate. The firm's operations entailed buying literary properties from authors, and reselling publication rights to newspapers and other publishers. McClure's syndicate would eventually alter America's market for literary properties, by distributing and promoting such American writers as Mark Twain, William Dean Howells, Joel Chandler Harris, and Sarah Orne Jewett. The firm broadened its horizons to introduce several English authors to the American reading public, including Rudyard Kipling, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Arthur Conan Doyle. It is not impossible that since August F. Jaccaci was a McClure employee when he acquired publication rights to Alfred Dreyfus's 'Cinq Années de Ma Vie' -- that McClure, Phillips was more than just another of several firms publishing this timely text in 1901, but may have instigated the entire global undertaking. This theory would help explain the lengths and expense undertaken by McClure to produce and legally register two physical copies of this text in the author's original French. Just under the two statements of the copyright holders identities is the paragraph which explains the existence of this French text with a US title page: "The book has been set up and printed in America / in French and English. Both the original text / and the translation are protected by copyright." The next paragraph, in French, is the assertion of copyright for the countries which were signatories to the 1886 Berne Convention. The first paragraph was necessary for the New York firm of McClure, Phillips because the United States did not sign on to the Berne Convention accords for 102 years, for reasons too complex to go into here: "Tous droits de traduction et reproduction reservespour tous pays, y compris la Suede et la Norwege."The last statement has to do with compliance with the British registration, (which was at odds with the Berne Convention, but irrelevant to our copy's existence): "Entered at Stationers' Hall, London, England." All these statements appear set exactly alike in all the copies which McClure, Phillips published with Dreyfus's text in English translation in 1901. And these normal copies also have the printer's slug for the production of these U.S. copies in English, just below the statements cited above: "UNIVERSITY PRESS - JOHN WILSON AND SON " CAMBRIDGE, U. S. A." It is interesting that the present copy does not have this printer's statement; it was legally necessary for the setting and printing of this copy to have taken place in the United States. The setting of these 212 pages in French may have been done by any of several firms of job-printers experienced with the language, or the setting may have been done "in house" at McClure, Phillips. Certainly, John Wilson / University Press could have done this job had the publisher requested it of them. The other variance is that the title page used for this special documentary copy is unlike the title page of the "normal" copies. Ours has both the usual New York imprint of McClure, Phillips, and the added imprint of London, with the UK address of the firm stated: "Hastings House, Norfolk Street, Strand." The McClure, Phillips device is the same as used in the U.S. (English text) copies: a pictorial roundel depicting an old-fashioned printing house with the surrounding text in Latin, with the imprint and the date: 1901." It is useful here to point out that the British edition of the English translation was published in London by Newnes, rather than the British branch of McClure, Phillips. [Newnes evidentally did not purchase rights to the French text, or did not find it necessary to take extraordinary steps to protect such rights. No evidence exists that they ever set up copies for Britain in French]. U.S. copyright law was a big deal for international publishers and writers, both due to the huge potential size of the U.S. market for books, and because the U.S. had its own legally complex copyright system, entirely outside the European norms of the Berne Convention. The original Paris edition of 'Cinq Années de Ma Vie' in French has a corroborating statement about the U.S. copyright at the foot of the leaf facing the title page (The recto of this leaf is the half title, and the verso contains the tirage statement concerning the limitation of the special copies ("500 exemplaires ... sur vélin; Et 50 exemplaires sur papier du Japon, numerotes a la presse.") The copyright statement in full, reads: "Cet ouvrage a été composé et imprimé en francais et en anglais dans les Etats-Unis d'Amérique, ou le texte francais et la composition anglaise sont protégés par le "Copyright." Copyright 1901 par A. F. Jaccaci." The text of our special setting for copyright protection ends with the conclusion of the main text, as contained on page 333 of the Paris, 1901 edition: "Mon coeur ne sera apaise que lorsqui; il n'y aura pas un Francais qui m'impute le crime abominable qu'un autre a commis." This is the last sentence on the final page, 212, of this rare McClure, Phillips copyright setting. The Paris 1901 edition continues past Dreyfus's heart-felt concluding promise with a section devoted to letters written by Dreyfus to the Ministre de L'Interieur, and several letters by Dreyfus addressed to the "President de la Republique." This section has a separate sectional title: "Appendice" -- and the text of the letters occupies pp. 337-360. McClure, Phillips' "normal" 1901 edition with the text in English translation also truncates these letters; the text ends on page 310 with this same concluding sentence in a very literal translation: "My heart will never be satisfied while there is a single Frenchman who imputes to me the abominable crime which another committed." The appendix, containing letters from Dreyfus pleading his case to high authorities, is omitted. This book is not unique, but I would suggest that being one of four known copies signals this legally-required copyright specimen as an extreme rarity. Circumstances of the current location of the other three make it highly unlikely that any other copy has ever been, or ever again will be available for sale. The Library of Congress catalogue asserts that the Library retains possession of "Copy A' of the original pair. OCLC (accession number 15670984) locates two additional copies besides the LC's "Copy A" -- one at Brandeis University; the other at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. [The Brandeis copy has the ownership signature of Alice G. Brandeis - Mrs. Louis D. Brandeis; as America's first Jewish Supreme Court Justice, Brandeis and his family were no strangers to the nature and consequences of anti-semitism. The provenance and history of the UMass-Amherst copy is not mentioned in the library's catalogue entry...]. I can find no current evidence of the existence of other copies besides these four. Ours would be of extraordinary interest even if it were falling apart or defective; as it happens, it is in excellent condition. The partially-improvised binding is clean and tight, with just a bit of toning to the spine and some faint rubbing -- (limited to the points of the spine ends and the LC's paper library label). The Library of Congress Copyright Deposit bookplate has been crossed out in pencil lines (usual practice for Surplus Duplicate books sold through the old program of the LC Division of Gift and Exchange). Apart from the Library marks (which, of course, in this copy are all of great interest and significance), the text block is clean and in excellent condition. It should not be necessary to outline the details or importance of the Dreyfus Affair in this catalogue description. Anti-semitism is at its core; the development and consequences of the injustice done to Alfred Dreyfus would nearly cleave French society. The reverberations of the Dreyfus Affair were still in effect at the time of the Holocaust, which will mark the twentieth century for special attention as long as human history is recorded and studied. Books have their stories -- to call this one extraordinary is an understatement. . (Inventory #: 39500)
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