Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Cross of Berny   By: (1804-1855)

Book cover

First Page:

THE CROSS OF BERNY

OR

IRENE'S LOVERS

BY MADAME EMILE DE GIRARDIN MM. THÉOPHILE GAUTIER JULES SANDEAU AND MERY

PREFACE TO THE AMERICAN EDITION.

Literary partnerships have often been tried, but very rarely with success in the more imaginative branches of literature. Occasionally two minds have been found to supplement each other sufficiently to produce good joint writing, as in the works of MM. Erckman Chatrian; but when the partnership has included more than two, it has almost invariably proved a failure, even when composed of individually the brightest intellects, and where the highest hopes have been entertained. Standing almost if not quite alone, in contrast with these failures of the past, THE CROSS OF BERNY is the more remarkable; and has achieved the success not merely of being the simply harmonious joint work of four individual minds, but of being in itself, and entirely aside from its interest as a literary curiosity, a great book .

A high rank, then, is claimed for it not upon its success as a literary partnership, for that at best would but excite a sort of curious interest, but upon its intrinsic merit as a work of fiction. The spirit of rivalry in which it was undertaken was perhaps not the best guarantee of harmony in the tone of the whole work, but it has certainly added materially to the wit and brilliancy of the letters, while harmony has been preserved by much tact and skill. No one of its authors could alone have written THE CROSS OF BERNY together, each one has given us his best, and their joint effort will long live to their fame.

The shape in which it appears, as a correspondence between four characters whose names are the pseudonyms of the four authors of the book, although at first it may seem to the reader a little awkward, will upon reflection be seen to be wisely chosen, since it allows to each of the prominent characters an individuality otherwise very difficult of attainment. In this way also any differences of style which there may be, tend rather to heighten the effect, and to increase the reality of the characters.

The title under which the original French edition appeared has been retained in the translation, although since its applicability depends upon a somewhat local allusion, the general reader may possibly fail to appreciate it.

ORIGINAL PREFACE TO THE FRENCH EDITION.

The Cross of Berny was, it will be remembered, a brilliant tourney, where Madame de Girardin (née Delphine Gay), Théophile Gautier, Jules Sandeau and Méry, broke lances like valiant knights of old.

We believe we respond to the general wish by adding to the Bibliothèque Nouvelle this unique work, which assumed and will ever retain a high position among the literary curiosities of the day.

Not feeling called upon to decide who is the victor in the tilt, we merely lift the pseudonymous veil concealing the champions.

The letters signed Irene de Chateaudun are by Madame de Girardin. " " " Edgar de Meilhan " M. Théophile Gautier. " " " Raymond de Villiers " M. Jules Sandeau. " " " Roger de Monbert " M. Méry.

Who are recognised as the four most brilliant of our celebrated contemporaneous authors. EDITOR.

CROSS OF BERNY.

I.

IRENE DE CHATEAUDUN to MME. LA VICOMTESSE DE BRAIMES, Hotel de la Préfecture, GRENOBLE (Isère).

PARIS, May 16th, 18 .

You are a great prophetess, my dear Valentino. Your predictions are verified.

Thanks to my peculiar disposition, I am already in the most deplorably false position that a reasonable mind and romantic heart could ever have contrived.

With you, naturally and instinctively, I have always been sincere; indeed it would be difficult to deceive one whom I have so often seen by a single glance read the startled conscience, and lead it from the ways of insolence and shame back into the paths of rectitude... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books