A History of Champagne with notes on the other Sparkling Wines of France - Henry Vizetelly 1882 - Vizetelly & Co., London - First Edition An absolutely superb example of the finest work ever presented on Champagne. Tracing the history of champagne and it’s wine over 1,800 years. Strikingly illustrated with 350 engravings, including numerous illustrations from ancient manuscripts and 200 original sketches made under the author's supervision. With folding coloured lithograph map showing the vineyards of Champagne. In the publishers elegant gilt pictorial binding.

The first part of the book is historical, champagne from its origins, its progress in the 14th century, the 17th, 18th, the conflict between Burgundy and Champagne, champagne in England. The second part describes the various vineyards, viticulture, manufacturing, large establishments of Reims, d'Epernay, Pierry, Ay, Mareuil, Avize and Rilly. Part three talks about the other sparkling wines of France: Saumur, Vouvray, Sauterne, Bourgogne, Jura, Rhone, concluding with
Facts and Notes Respecting Sparkling Wine. To the rear are advertisements from producers such as Moët et Chandon, Deutz & Geldermann, and Vizetelly's catalogue of other published works.
  This is the most important book of the author (1820-94), an English journalist, son and grandson of a printer. His interest in wine dates back to 1869 when the Pall Mall Gazette commissioned a series of articles on the wines of France. Vizetelly had settled in Paris. He was one of the judges at the Exhibitions of Vienna in 1873 and Paris in 1878 and is considered one of the finest wine connoisseurs of his time. This monograph on the wine of Champagne contributed greatly to the success of champagne abroad and yet this remarkable book has never been translated into French.

Born in London, Henry Vizetelly was the son and grandson of printers. The "Vizzetelli" family had migrated from Italy at the end of the 17th century. Henry's wood engravings contributed to the success of "Parr's Life Pills," from the profits of which Herbert Ingram started the Illustrated London News, for which Vizetelly's firm executed a number of engravings. In 1843 Henry, together with his older brother James (1817-1897) and Andrew Spottiswoode, started the rival Pictorial Times, which counted Thackeray as a staff member. Vizetelly's "best work as a wood-engraver was done about 1850 … for an edition of Longfellow's Evangeline." In 1855, he started The Illustrated Times, with Gustave Doré as one of the artists, but he sold his share in it to Ingram in 1859, and in 1865 went back to work for Ingram as Paris correspondent of the Illustrated London News, where he mainly spent the next seven years, including the time of the siege of Paris, about which he later wrote a book. It was in Paris that he he became an authority on wine and in 1873 he served as a wine juror at the Vienna exhibition. Vizetelly gave up his position with the Illustrated London News and became a London publisher, specializing in translations of French and Russian authors. Publishing Zola in unexpurgated form led to his indictment in 1888 on obscenity charges. The jury refusing to listen to a recital of 21 passages selected by the prosecution, Vizetelly pleaded guilty, on advice of counsel, and was fined £100. Vizetelly issued pendente lite a selection of "extracts principally from English Classics, showing that the legal suppression of M. Zola's novels would logically involve the bowdlerising of the greatest Works in English Literature (London … twelve copies printed …" He then proceeded to reissue Zola's works, expurgated by his son Ernest. He was again charged with publishing obscene libels and in 1889 was sent to prison for three months, to the detriment of his health, though he continued to publish. [DNB].

References: Gabler,
Wine into Words 40330. Noling, Beverage Literature: A Bibliography 426. Viniana V140. Simon, Bibliotheca Vinaria 105. Cagle A Matter of Taste 1044.

Quarto (book size 28 x 22.5 cm) pp. xii 263 [1] [3 (Appendix)] [1] [5 (advertisements by Champagne houses)] [2 (publisher’s advertisements)] [1]. Publisher’s green cloth lettered and intricately decorated in gilt to spine and front panel, rear panel with decorative border in blind, all edges gilt, black coated endpapers (variant binding i - see notes below).

Additional notes on the publication of this work - We have seen two variant bindings (i, ii) and an additional one (iii) has been noted in the Viniana bibliography and in institutions, there appears to be no priority established:-
i. ‘Vizetelly & Co’ in gilt to tail of spine; black coated endpapers; title page with publisher as ‘London : Vizetelly & Co., 42 Catherine Street, Strand. Scribner & Welford, New York.’, the date ‘1882.’, all printed in black, their is no ‘all rights reserved’ statement.
ii. ‘Sotheran & Co’ in gilt to tail of spine; pale yellow coated endpapers; title page with publisher as ‘London : Henry Sotheran & Co., 136, Strand; 36, Piccadilly; 77 & 78, Queen Street, Coty,
Manchester: 49, Cross Street.’, the date ‘MDCCCLXXXII.’ followed by ‘[All rights reserved.]’, the ‘Henry Sotheran & Co.,’ is printed in red, the rest in black.
iii. ‘Scribner & Co’ in gilt to tail of spine. We have not had an example of this, although from others description there is no difference between this and i above, the only points we have been unable to confirm are the colour of the endpapers, and if there is a difference with the advertisements to the rear (although the pagination of the advertisements is the same as in i and ii).
  Condition: Near fine, gilt sharp and bright to covers, some rubbing to edges, spine with some abrasion, minor foxing to first and last few pages, else clean throughout.   Ref: 109609   Price: HK$ 25,000