We have an enormous collection of livres de poches. That is your actual French for “posh books”.
– Julian & Sandy, Bona Bookshops
In yesterday’s post on Roger Peyrefitte, you may have admired the splendidly kitsch cover illustration for his novel L’exilé de Capri: an angel boasting a garland of roses around a hairstyle of pudding-bowl persuasion, set against a Tyrrhenian seascape. Just about all of Peyrefitte’s works were issued in paperback form with similarly precious images, and together they form a compelling gallery of the book illustrator’s art from the 1950s to the 1970s. The treatment was remarkably consistent: an amalgam of children’s books, advertising and School of Paris-style portraiture, with multiple offences against haircare. The various editions of Peyrefitte’s first novel, Les amitiés particulières, are beyond camp.