Travel phrase book in Six Languages, in contemporary cartonnage


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[Genlis, Stéphanie Félicité de]; and. J[ohann] B[althasar] Fromm. TASCHENBUCH FÜR REISENDE Gespräche für das gesellschaftliche Leben; deutsch, französich, italienisch, english, spanish und portugiesich. Nach dem Manuel du voyageur der Madame de Genlis, neu bearbeitet von J.B. Fromm. [The traveller's guide being a collection of useful dialogues in six languages. After the “Manuel du voyageur” by Madame de Genlis]

Dresden: gedruckt bei Carl Gottlob Gärtner, [1822].

8°: xv, 296 pp. The text is in three columns per page, thus each two-page opening displays a row of all six languages. Bound in contemporary blue paper-covered thin boards (cartonnage), smooth spine and original letterpress spine label. Corners bumped, some superficial splitting of the paper on the cover, and spotting to the interior, but a nicely preserved copy with untrimmed edges in its original state. A rare and important early phrase-guidebook, based on the original guide by Stéphanie Félicité de Genlis, (1746-1830).

The particularly rare text, especially outside of a few German libraries, is a reworking of Manuel du voyageur par Madame de Genlis, which first appeared in Berlin, 1799, in two languages only (German and French)—the rarity no doubt due to the fact that the guides were as well used as their wayfaring readers. The work inspired a number of multilingual phrasebooks, whose objective was to offer the phrases and sentences in a context necessary for daily life and business when traveling. The development of travel and "tourism" in the 19th century made this formula extremely useful, and successful—a formula that in many ways continues in present day phrasebooks. The publisher’s foreword clarifies that previous editions contained a number of errors and that great effort has been made to make this edition more accurate and thus useful.

The full illustrated description is here