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La Jeunesse de Louis XIV

Young King Louis

drame/play, pub:1856, action:1658

A prose comedy.

    La jeunesse de Louis XIV translated by Frank J. Morlock
    Anne d'Autriche et le cardinal Mazarin

Oeuvres/Related Works
    Dumas père, Alexandre: The Great Lover and Other Plays - Available from amazon.com
    Morlock, Frank J.: The Youth of Louis XIV - available to read online!

From Reviews (ADR) by Arthur D. Rypinski:
        Dumas wrote this five act prose comedy in 1853, when he exiled himself to Brussels in opposition to the regime of Louis-Napoleon. The play was to be performed in Paris, but was banned by the censor. It was produced in Brussels in 1854, and finally produced in Paris in 1874, after Dumas' death, with revisions by Alexandre Dumas fils.
        The play is set at the Chateau of Vincennes in 1658. Its hero is King Louis XIV, aged 20, and King since the age of four. Actual power is wielded by the Queen Mother, Anne of Austria, and the Chief Minister (and notorious cheapskate) Cardinal Jules Mazarin. All of these characters will be familiar to readers of Dumas' Les Trois Mousquetaires and its various sequels.
        Louis is in love with a commoner, Mazarin's niece, Marie de Mancini, while Anne plots to have him meet a more politically eligible noble.
        With the assistance of a young lady who hides under a table when Mazarin and Anne are making plans, Louis learns of the plot. He disguises himself as one of his own musketeers, and learns the secret motivations of the people who surround him. He uses this information to become King in deed, as well as in name, but at the cost of sacrificing his love for Marie de Mancini.

From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     A prose comedy in five acts.
     No collaborator seems to have been suggested for this piece, yet it was written in eight days.
     Arsène Houssaye says Dumas burst into his office one day in 1853, back from his exile in Brussels, with an offer of a couple of comedies: "La Jeunesse de Louis XIV." and "La Jeunesse de Louis XV." They were in his head, but not yet on paper. He asked for a reading. Houssaye, only too glad of the offer, suggested the following day, unaware that the writing was still to do. Instead, a week was allowed, and at the stated time Dumas arrived with his play written out (and be it remarked in passing that the first draft of the third act had been rejected and the whole recomposed). Read, accepted enthusiastically, this play was promptly stopped by the censor. A week later the second, "La Jeunesse de Louis XV.," was brought, read, accepted, and in its turn interdicted. "La Jeunesse de Louis XIV." was transferred to Brussels and there staged with immense success, but not for years was it allowed to be performed in France.
     M. Glinel possessed the rejected fifth scene of Act III. of this play. It was published in "Le Gaulois." Examination reveals that it was a first draft of what is now the twelfth scene of Act V. By transferring this from Charles II and Mazarin to Louis XIV. and the Cardinal, Dumas was able to make it far more powerful in effect.
     The role of Georgette was written for Émilie Dubois.
     It was first performed at the Vaudeville Theatre at Brussels on the. 20th of January, 1854.
     Years later it was very successfully staged at the Odéon Theatre in Paris.
     Original edition: Brussels, Kiessling, Schnée et Cie., 1854, pp. 306.
     First French edition : Paris, Marchant, 8vo. of two columns, 1856 (so Parran and Glinel, the latter adding that it bore the dedication : "To my friend Noel Parfait, former representative of the people, a Memory of Exile. Alex. Dumas ").
     However, the Reed Dumas Collection includes a copy in 18mo., pp. 306, published at "La Librairie Théâtrale, 12 Boulevard Saint-Martin," 1856. This edition advertises a new series of the Complete Works of Alexandre Dumas, of which this is one, others being "Le Capitaine Paul" and "La Tulipe Noire."
     In 1874 it was issued by Michel Lévy Frères, Paris, as "The only edition corresponding with the performance." Which makes us wonder in what way the text issued by them in 1865, and still included in the standard edition, differed.
     It may now he read in Vol. XII. of the 15 Vol. series, and in Vol. XIX. of that in 25 Vols., issued by Calmann-Lévy. These editions still carry the dedication to Noel Parfait, noted in connection with the edition of Marchant.

         References :—
     Dumas: Causeries in "Le Mousquetaire" for December 8th, 1853, and for March 29th, 1855. Also a notice regarding the performance at Brussels, in the number for February 20th, 1854.
     Glinel: "Alexandre Dumas et Son Œuvre," page 433.
     Glinel: "Théâtre Inconnu."—"Revue Biblio-Iconographique," Year 1899, pp. 11-12.
     Parran: "Bibliographie d'Alex. Dumas," page 34.
     Lecomte: "Alexandre Dumas," page 120.
     Houssaye: "Les Confessions," Vol. III., pp. 217-18. (English translation : "Behind the Scenes of the Comédie Française," pp. 372-75.)

From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     (CXCII.) Verses by the king, Act II., Scene ii., four lines, rhyming a, b, b, a.

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