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Gaule et France

The Progress of Democracy; illustrated in the History of Gaul and France

non-fiction, pub:1833




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    1841 negative review of The Progress of Democracy


From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     This work is usually regarded as an introduction, since, save for a few fragments of what was afterwards "Isabel de Bavière," it was the first of Dumas' many historical and semi-historical works. Moreover, it not inaptly served that purpose, and was so considered by its author.
     It carries the history of France to the death of Charles IV. and the succession of Philip de Valois in 1328.
     Recent editions carry the interesting prologue which has been transferred from "La Comtesse de Salisbury," which it first graced.
     Much criticism was levelled at Dumas on the charge that he had borrowed from Chateaubriand and Thierry. Doubtless he used their works as be did others, and we know that his memory was immensely retentive. Chateaubriand apparently found nothing of which to complain, while Thierry congratulated the author warmly upon his work.
     The most striking thing about the original edition—as a matter of policy it was omitted from later printings—was the epilogue, in which Dumas foretold, sixteen years before the event, the re-establishment of the Republic, with "un president élu pour cinq ans, sortant du peuple, d'une fortune particulière modeste, et pourvu d'une liste civile restreinte." (1)
     Original edition: Paris, U. Canel, Rue du Bac, 104, et Guyot, Place du Louvre, 18, 1833; printed by Auguste Auffray, 1 vol., 8vo., pp. 375, in grey cover printed to reproduce the title-page.
     Reprinted : Paris, Ch. Gosselin (with an introduction to the historical scenes), 1842, English format.
     The pirated Brussels edition of the year of original issue, 1833, by Ant. Peeters, also contains the epilogue referred to above. Pp. 400.
     The essential portion of this epilogue may be read to-day in Blaze de Bury's "Alexandre Dumas," pp. 337-342.
     It occupies one volume in the Calmann-Lévy "Œuvres Complètes," and one in their "Musée Littéraire."
     Is in Le Vasseur's "Alexandre Dumas Illustré," Vol. VIII.
     (1) " A president elected for five years, springing from the people, of modest personal fortune, and provided with a restricted civil list."

         References :—
     Dumas: "Mes Mémoires," Chapters CCXXXIV., CCXLIV., CCLIII. and CCLXIV. (which last chapter is not included in the standard French edition, but is to be read in those published in Belgium).
     Quérard: "Supercheries Littéraires Dévoilées," Vol. 1., Columns 1130-1138.
     Parran : "Bibliographie d'A. Dumas." pp. 40-41.
     Glinel: "Alexandre Dumas et Son Œuvre," pp. 316, 323, 324-25.
     Blaze de Bury: "Alexandre Dumas," pp. 28-31, 337-342.
     Lecomte: "Alexandre Dumas," p. 188.
     "Les Débats," .Nos. for November 1st and 26th, 1833. Articles by Granier de Cassagnac.
     "Revue de Paris," 1833. Article by N. C. Saint-Michel.
     A fine review also appeared in the "Foreign Quarterly Review" during 1833.

         English Translation :—
     A little known and excellent rendering into English of this work appeared in 1841, under the title of "The Progress of Democracy ; illustrated in the History of Gaul and France," by Alexandre Dumas, translated by an American ; New York, J. and H. G. Langley, pp. 376. As this contains the epilogue, it was evidently taken from the original edition.

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