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L' Écossais

drame/play, pub:1836




From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     This drama is in five acts and six tableaux, with, in addition, an epilogue.
     It was drawn from Scott's "Quentin Durward," and follows the original very closely. The only notable divergencies are the knighting of Quentin by Louis d'Orléans after their encounter on the road to Liège, and the arrival of d'Orléans, Dunois, Crawford and Quentin, by a secret passage, to the king's aid when be was imprisoned at Péronne. This last makes a very effective stage development.
     It has never been performed or printed, owing to the original MS., of which no copy then existed, being lost for some thirty-five years, indeed from the time of its composition until after Dumas' death.
     Briefly, it was written with the eye to a leading role for Frédérick Lemaitre. This was in 1835 or 1836. Dumas himself handed it to that actor, who was too busy at the time to read it. Two years passed, and, weary of the delay, Dumas requested it back. Only then did Frédérick discover that he no longer possessed it, and all search failed to discover it. Dumas took the loss good-naturedly. In 1871 Frédérick, then obliged to change his apartments, found the roll behind his bookcase, where it had fallen. Later he gave it to Laplace, the publisher, and this latter, in his turn, gave it to M. Alexandre Dumas fils, but only after having had an authentic copy made by Mlle. Augustine Métayer, who was specially attached to the Library of the Arsenal at Paris for the making of authentic copies of MSS. (One imagines she took the oversight of such work, since the copy of this play is in more than one handwriting.) The said copy was acquired by M. Ch. Glinel, after the death of Laplace, and on the dispersal of the library of the former, the volume was purchased for the Reed Dumas Collection.
     Prefaced to the copy of the drama is the statement of M. Laplace, in which he tells the story of the vicissitudes of the MS., signing it, and inserting the originals of two letters from M. A. Dumas fils and one from M. Édouard Fournier.

         References :
     Glinel: "Theatre Inconnu d'Alexandre Dumas," in the "Revue Biblio-Iconographique," year 1890, pp. 10-11.

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