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Les Mariages du Père Olifus

The Man with Five Wives

roman/novel, pub:1849

Written in collaboration with Paul Bocage. This is a loosely based sequel to Mille-et-un fantômes.


From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     A story much out of Dumas' ordinary manner, yet showing plain indications of his work. Père Olifus is a Dutchman, a traveller, much married, and notably first to a Buchold, who interferes to much purpose whenever her errant husband decides upon another venture into matrimony.
     The first four chapters are really one of Dumas' delightfully chatty introductions.
     In some of the later chapters Olifus pays a visit to a M. la Géronnière, a planter in the interior of the Philippine Islands. This very person, chancing to read Dumas' story, was amazed to come across his own name and that of his plantation. He decided to write an account of his own adventures, did so, and Dumas printed it in his "Mousquetaire." A comparison is interesting.
     During the appearance of "Père Olifus" in "Le Constitutionnel" Dumas learned of the death of his old friend James Rousseau. Immediately he proceeded to write his recollections of the deceased, forwarded them to the journal, and there they appeared as two chapters (XIII. and XIV.) in the middle of the romance, with which of course they have nothing to do, and there they remain still, a monument alike to writer and subject.
     First appeared serially in "Le Constitutionnel."
     The pirated Belgian edition (Méline Cans et Cie., 1849) must be considered the original. It formed part of "Les Mille et Un Fantômes."
     First French edition : Paris, Cadot, 5 vols., 8vo. (including "Le Testament de M. de Chauvelin"), yellow cover, printed in imitation of the title-page, 1850.
     It forms one volume each in Calmann-Lévy's standard and illustrated editions, and one also in their "Musée Littéraire."
     As part of the "Mille et un Fantômes" it is found in Vol. XVII. of Le Vasseur's "Alexandre Dumas Illustré."

         References :—
     As for "Les Mille et un Fantômes" (see page 239).
     "Le Mousquetaire," August 25th to October 31st, 1855.

         English Translations :—
     "The Man with Five Wives," Philadelphia, Peterson.
     "Marriages of Père Olifus," in "Tales of Strange Adventure." London, Methuen, 1907, sewed.

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