Fat and Thin. (Le Ventre de Paris). A Realistic Novel. [Translated from the French of 'Le Ventre de Paris' (The Belly of Paris)].

London: Vizetelly &Co., 42, Catherine Street, Strand; H. Blacklock & Co., Printers, 1888.

Thick octavo (19.5 x 13.5 cm.), 336 pages. Illustrated with eight plates of engravings. FIRST UK EDITION. Emile Zola's grand naturalist description of "the Belly of Paris", Les Halles, "translated from the 24th French edition" by the publisher, Henry Vizetelly. While this edition is often put forward as the "first English language edition", that honor is held by Mary Neal Sherwood's translation, published in 1879 in Philadelphia with the title The Markets of Paris, and then in 1882 under the title La Belle Lisa; or, The Paris Market Girls. Sherwood translated dozens of Zola's novels (and novels of other contemporary French writers). Vizetelly's translations of Zola's works would eventually bring to a close his publishing company (founded in 1880). After publishing Zola's The Soil (La Terre) in 1888 he was prosecuted for obscene libel. When Vizetelly persisted in publishing Fat and Thin, he was again prosecuted and subsequently imprisoned. His firm never recovered and closed in 1890. A revised and expurgated version of Le Ventre de Paris was subsequently produced by Vizetelly's son, Ernest Alfred Vizetelly for Chatto & Windus (1896), and for years remained the most widely available English translation. Le Ventre de Paris or The Belly of Paris was the third in Zola's epic twenty-volume "Les Rougon-Macquart", and his first novel on the working class. A bit of light foxing to the edges of the text block and to a few leaves; hinges tender. Publisher's dark blue cloth, red and gilt-titled and ruled.

Price: $500.00