Pudeur [Modesty], André Billy (Jean Vigneau, éditeur, 1946 [Philadelphia?] limited edition #61/450 first edition)
9.5″ X 11.25″, 97pp, original state, unbound loose signature, soft wraps enclosed in a cream & green loose hardcover which fits into a slipcase, some very slight foxing on wraps and slipcase but otherwise a very clean copy, small rip at bottom of spine.
André Billy (1882 – 1971) was a French writer. He was born in Saint-Quentin, Aisne. After completing secondary studies at the Collège de la Providence in Amiens, he studied under the Jesuits at Saint-Dizier. He began writing in 1907, occasionally using the pseudonym Jean de l’Escritoire. Billy used ecclesiastical settings for the novels Bénoni, L’Approbaniste, Introïbo, and Le Narthex. He was inspired by the story-tellers of the 18th for the essay Pudeur and a few other works. For many years he was the literary critic for L’Œuvre. He edited the collection Leurs Raisons. Billy became honorary president of the Société des amis de Philéas Lebesgue. Retiring to Lyon during the Occupation of France, he worked on a series of imposing biographies: Vie de Balzac, Vie de Diderot, and Vie de Sainte-Beuve. He was elected to the Académie Goncourt in 1943, but could not take his seat until 1944 because of the hostility of several members, some of whom he had criticised in his writings. After the War, he wrote the Chroniques du samedi for Le Figaro littéraire. The collection Histoire de la vie littéraire (éditions Tallandier) was published under the direction of André Billy, who contributed L’Époque 1900. In total, during his career he was to write 11,000 articles for over one hundred European newspapers.