Voyage en Icarie. UTOPIAN LITERATURE, Etienne CABET.

Voyage en Icarie

Paris: Au Bureau du Populaire, 1848. Cinquième Édition. 12mo (18cm.); contemporary plum morocco-backed marbled boards, spine in five compartments, green morocco spine label, marbled endpapers; [4],viii,600pp. Spine sunned, boards a hint scuffed, else a Very Good to Near Fine copy.

First published in 1840, "Voyage en Icarie" presented in novelistic form the theories of Cabet's Icarian movement in which "society...placed all economic activity under the guidance and control of elected officials and made the family the only other politically influential unit" (Richard C.S. Trahair, "Utopias and Utopians" (1999), p. 199). By the year of the Revolution of 1848 (and the publication of this edition) there were some 400,000 Icarians in France, a handful of whom established a community in Denton County, Texas, Cabet joining them shortly after, in 1850. The Icarians suffered in Texas, their numbers far fewer than they had hoped for after the fall of Louis Philippe and the rise of the Second Republic. Furthermore, most members chose to reside in New Orleans, and the land alloted them was not the million acres they had been promised, but two disparate tracts totallying only 10,000 acres (see Robert S. Fogarty, "Dictionary of American Communal and Utopian History" (1980), p. 147). Upon Cabet's arrival in the United States the group, now totalling only 200, migrated to Nauvoo, Illinois, which had recently been evacuated by the Mormons. After a short period of prosperity, schisms errupted and by 1856 Cabet and his followers had formed a splinter group, moving on to Cheltenham, Missouri, where Cabet died shortly thereafter. ADAMS, p. 45 (citing this edition, though with variant title page); NEGLEY 175; SABIN 9787 also cites the fifth edition, though with a different imprint and subtitle.

Price: $450.00

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