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One of only eight known copies, it was La Bruyère’s sole publication released in 1688. It is recognised as key to the development in French prose style, influencing later authors such as Balzac and Proust. Now a volume is on offer at the fair for £20,000 from the stand of Sevin Seydi Rare Books.

The PBFA fair runs from May 25-26 (coinciding with the ABA Fair and also falling under the Rare Books London Umbrella) at the ILEC Conference Centre in the Ibis Hotel on Lillie Road, west London. Despite this stand-out item, many items are at lower price points with a wide variety of stock on offer.

More than 100 dealers will stand including Robert Frew, Edmund Pollinger Rare Books, Shapero Rare Books and Bow Windows Bookshop.

Students from Papplewick School, The Bibliomaniacs, styling themselves the youngest antiquarian book dealers, are also set to take a stand on the Friday of the fair. The event includes a free evaluation service for visitors.