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Le Lièvre de mon grand-père

The Phantom White Hare

conte/short story, pub:1855




Oeuvres/Related Works
    Dumas père, Alexandre: The Phantom White Hare and Other Stories - Available from amazon.com (softcover)
    Dumas père, Alexandre: The Phantom White Hare and Other Stories - Available from amazon.com (hardcover)


From Reviews (ADR) by Arthur D. Rypinski:
        Le Lievre de mon Grand Pere was published in L'Echo des Feuilletons in 1855. It is set in the village of Theux, near Liege, on the Belgian border, at some point in the early 19th century. The narrator reports that one Jerome, the grandfather of a friend of his' was the village apothecary, a free-thinker, and an avid hunter. Jerome began to poach on the land of the Prince-Bishop, and came in conflict with a childhood enemy and forester, Thomas Pihay. The foresters catch Jerome poaching, and Thomas shoots Jerome's dogs, and tosses Jerome in jail.
        That winter, Jerome encounters Thomas again, and kills him. Jerome returns home to await arrest, but by chance, the body is buried by snow, and is not discovered for months. The crime is never attributed to Jerome.
        However, Jerome's dreams and his hunting trips are haunted by the figure of a gigantic white hare (associated with Saint Hubert, the patron saint of hunters.) The hare is impervious to bullets, and leads Jerome's remaining dogs to their death. Jerome hunts the hare continually, neglects both his business and other prey, and impoverishes his family. Finally, his wife prays to Saint Hubert that Jerome may, at last, catch his hare. But when man encounters hare, who will be catching whom?

From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     A charming children's tale, in this case very probably supplied in germ by de Cherville, but just as certainly re-written by Dumas himself. In the introduction the master definitely ascribes it to this friend, but then he was accustomed to do such things, and liked both to mystify his readers and gratify those of whom he was fond.
     Original edition: Paris, Cadot. 1 vol., 8vo., pp. 341, 1857.
     It now forms one of the stories in the Calmann-Lévy edition collected into "Le Père Gigogne" (see 1860).
     In Le Vasseur's "Alexandre Dumas Illustré" it forms part of Vol. XVII.

         References :—
     Parran: "Bibliographie d'Alex. Dumas," page. 65.
     Glinel: "A Dumas et Son Œuvre," page 440.

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