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Finding aid for the Vizetelly and Company letters and documents, 1785, 1838-1854
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Collection Overview
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Collection comprising 103 letters sent to James Vizetelly and his company of printers and engravers by ca. 40 correspondents between 1838 and 1854. Most of the letters are in French, from French editors, and printers, and prominent publishers, including Béthune et Plon, Pagnerre Éditeur, Melchior Yvan, and L. Curmer. They reflect Vizetelly & Co.'s involvement in the growing demand for illustrated French and "exotic" literature.
The Vizetelly London firm of printers, engravers and publishers was active under various names from ca. 1827-1890. Founded by James Henry Vizetelly with various associates, the firm was reorganized at his death in 1838, by the eldest son James, with his younger brother Henry as associate. In 1849 the firm went into liquidation, the brothers setting up separate businesses. James Vizetelly's firm remained active until 1855 under the name of Vizetelly and Company (at 135 Fleet Street). The name Vizetelly was successfully continued in the printing business of James's brother Henry. Henry Vizetelly's firm ended unfortunately in 1889 when the publication of several novels by the French writer Émile Zola brought Henry to the Criminal Court. He was condemned under the Obscene Libel Act to three months in prison.
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