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Une Fille du Régent; Hélène de Saverny, ou Une Conspiration sous le Régent; Le Capitaine Lajonquière

drame/play, pub:1846, action:1719

Comedy in five acts. From the novel Une Fille du Régent.


From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     A prose comedy in five acts, of which one forms the prologue.
     The peregrinations of this piece are, to say the least of it, varied and interesting. Its inception was the MS. "Mémoires du Sieur Buvat," in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris. These personal records have not been published, though the "Journal de la Régence," also written by Buvat, has, but not until the whole of the works by Dumas mentioned below had appeared. There seems little doubt that it was Maquet, not yet Dumas' collaborator, who first discovered the MS. in question. From this he constructed a short story entitled : "Le Bonhomme Buvat," for which however he could not obtain a publisher. Telling his troubles to Dumas, the famous dramatist offered to see what he could do with the material. The result was the four volumes of "Le Chevalier d'Harmental," perhaps the first of the great romances to come from his pen. This appeared in 1843. One of the incidents in this story, as produced by Dumas, suggested a drama, and "Hélène de Saverny, ou Une Conspiration sous le Régent" was offered to the Théâtre Français, accepted by the reading committee, but not performed. Probably Dumas withdrew it for improvement. However that may be, the MS., with the acceptance duly signed, is now in the Reed Dumas Collection. This MS. was previously owned by M. Ch. Glinel. It contains a number of erasures and corrections, and the title-page is inscribed: "Reçu par le Comite de Lecture du Théâtre Français dans sa séance du 10 Décembre 1843. P. Ligier." ("Received by the reading committee of the Théâtre Français at its sitting of the 10 December 1843. P. Ligier.") In 1845 there appeared the romance "Une Fille du Regent," in which Maquet assuredly collaborated with Dumas (but not in the drama, by his own admission). Thus it will be seen that again it was the unusual experience of a romance from a play, but, in this case, an as yet unperformed one. In the following year, 1846, was staged at the Théâtre Français the comedy "Une Fille du Regent," of which "Hélène de Saverny" was the first draft, and which was fairly closely followed, save that the whole fourth act of the first draft, which took place in the Bastille, is omitted, though with some borrowings from the romance (unless the final text of the drama had been completed before the story), such as the prologue in the snow, and the interview between Oven and Dubois, where the pile of gold grows and diminishes. Still later, in 1849, there was represented at the Théâtre Historique a dramatised version of "Le Chevalier d'Harmental," again by Dumas and Maquet in collaboration. Finally, in 1850, the Théâtre Historique produced "Le Capitaine Lajonquière," a drama in five acts, which was but very slightly modified from "Une Fille du Regent," and which has never been printed. Neither has "Hélène de Saverny."
     There is a very considerable difference between the plot developments in the romance and the drama of "Une Fille du Regent." The play ends happily, the romance is gloomy throughout and ends in complete tragedy ; in fact one is inclined to feel that Maquet controlled the dénouement of the latter more than was usual in the work of the two authors.
     First performed at the Théâtre Français on the 1st of April, 1846.
     "Le Capitaine Lajonquière" saw its first appearance at the Théâtre Historique. September 23rd, 1850.
     Original edition : Paris, Marchant, 1846, large 8vo. of two columns, pp. 35, in the "Magasin Théâtral."
     It is now in Vol. VI. of the 15 Vol. edition, and in Vol. IX. of the 25 Vol. Calmann-Lévy edition.

         References :—
     Lecomte: "Alexandre Dumas," pp. 117, 119, 122.
     Quérard: "Supercheries Littéraires Dévoilées," Vol. I., Column 1078.
     Simon (Gustave): "Histoire d'une Collaboration : Dumas et Maquet," pp. 67-68.
     Glinel: "Théâtre Inconnu."—" Revue Biblio-Iconographique," Year 1899, page 11.
     Gautier: "Art Dramatique," Série IV., pp. 245-51.
     Goizet: "Collaboration au Théâtre," pp. 95, 160.
     Buvat: "Journal de la Régence;" Introduction and Vol. I., pp. 337 and 339; Vol. II., pp. 503 and 512, in particular.
         English translation :—
     "The Regent's Daughter," a serio-comic play in five acts, adapted from Dumas' romance "Une Fille du Régent," by William Young, pp. 40, New York, Appleton, 1854.
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