Collector makes gift of Stendhal text to France

20th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 19, 2006 (AFP) - A French book collector has donated a rare manuscript by the writer Stendhal to the state ending fears that it could move overseas after being bought at an upcoming auction, officials said Monday.

PARIS, June 19, 2006 (AFP) - A French book collector has donated a rare manuscript by the writer Stendhal to the state ending fears that it could move overseas after being bought at an upcoming auction, officials said Monday.

Collector Pierre Berès, 93, decided last year to sell 177 manuscripts and rare editions amassed over the past 80 years with an estimated value of some EUR 6 million.

He has now given a corrected version of his 1839 novel 'The Charterhouse of Parma', substantially reworked "following the advice of Mr Balzac" as the author notes in the draft and dating from 1840-1841, to the state.

Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres on Monday hailed Beres' "generous gesture" saying he had helped "bring to the national collection an essential piece of 19th century literary history."

Five journals from Stendhal's diary covering some 570 pages however are still set to be auctioned at the Drouot auction houses on Tuesday and are believed to be worth between EUR 600,000 to 900,000.

In his long career Beres became a legend for collecting rare editions of works by such giants of French literature as Marcel Proust, Arthur Rimbaud and Gustave Flaubert, many of which he kept for a long time to resell for huge sums later.

Other works going under the hammer on Tuesday are manuscripts from writers including Honoré de Balzac, Proust and Rimbaud, along with a copy of Flaubert's 'Madame Bovary' dedicated to the writer Alexandre Dumas.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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