Signed first edition of L’Invasion Allemande by Général Georges Ernest Boulanger, inscribed to the future Prime Minister of Great Britain, Arthur Balfour.
Quarto, 384pp. The first of three volumes. Publisher’s original wrappers bound in, with numerous maps and illustrated plates. Red pebbled cloth, title in gilt on spine. Red speckled edges. Solid text block, sunned spine, bumped corners, faint foxing throughout. Endpapers are foxed with light transference. The first volume only, featuring an inscription from Boulanger on the half-title.
Inscription reads: “Monsieur Balfour / membre de parlement / cordial souvenir / Gnl Boulanger.”
General Georges Ernest Jean-Marie Boulanger (1837-1891) was a charismatic leader who rose rapidly in the ranks of the French Army, eventually becoming Minister of War in 1886. The general attracted public admiration for his reformist stance and his tough posture on foreign policy, especially against Germany, with the French citizenry calling him Général Revanche or “General Revenge. The Parliamentary Republic feared a coup by Boulanger and a return to authoritarian rule. However, his political movement collapsed after he fled the country to evade arrest, and his subsequent return to France ended in tragedy when he committed suicide at the grave of his mistress in 1891, marking the abrupt end of his political aspirations.
Arthur James Balfour, 1st Earl of Balfour (1848-1930) served as British Prime Minister from 1902 to 1905. He later served as British Foreign Secretary during World War I, where he issued the Balfour Declaration, supporting the establishment of a “national home for the Jewish people in Palestine.”