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Mémoires d'un médecin: Joseph Balsamo

Memoirs of a Physician; Joseph Balsamo; Madame du Barry; The Countess Dubarry; The Elixir of Life; Cagliostro

roman/novel, pub:1846-1848, action:1770-1774

Marie Antoinette arrives in Paris, carrying in her wake "man of the people" Steven Gilbert and the aristocratic Andrée de Taverney (later Comtesse de Charney) and Philip de Taverney (later Chevalier de Maison Rouge). The magus Joseph Balsamo bends his efforts to the destruction of the monarchy. Features Jean Jacques Rousseau and briefly Jean Paul Marat as characters.

This book is the first in the "Marie Antoinette" series with:
    Mémoires d'un médecin: Joseph Balsamo
    Le collier de la reine
    Ange Pitou
    La Comtesse de Charny
    Le Chevalier de Maison Rouge
The series chronicles the decline of the French monarchy.

    Balsamo (télévision)
    Bibliographic notes on Cagliostro
    Review of The Memoirs of a Physician, 1849

Oeuvres/Related Works
    Joseph Balsamo - New York, P. F. Collier & Son, n.d., The Works of Alexandre Dumas in Thirty Volumes (vol. 6), blue cloth, gilt spine
    Dumas père, Alexandre: Joseph Balsamo : Illustré De Photos Du Film Télévisé - Available from amazon.com
    The Memoirs of a Physician - New York, P. F. Collier & Son, n.d., The Works of Alexandre Dumas in Thirty Volumes (vol. 7), blue cloth, gilt spine

Images (voyez tous/view all)
    "I am going to wait on you myself," said the countess.
    "My dear lieutenant of police, I will blow your brains out."
    "The stranger was received by the Baron de Taverney, in his dressing-gown."
    "The young man supported Andrée with his uninjured arm, Nicole sustained her on the other side."
    "They tell me you are setting out on a journey," Said the king.
    "You offer me what I not your to give."
    "You offer me what is not yours to give"
    Balsamo and Lorenza
    Nicole's twenty-five Louis-d'Ors.
    The death of Althotas.
    The elixir of life
    The escape of Gilbert.

From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     The opening romance of Dumas' third series, both in point of period and of quality, of long historical sequences. The whole group was intended to bear the general title of the "Mémoires d'un Médecin," but common custom has usually restricted this to the first, otherwise known as "Joseph Balsamo." This is followed by "Le Collier de la Reine," "Ange Pitou" and "La Comtesse de Charny," in that order. "Le Chevalier de Maison-Rouge," the first to be written, was intended to close the series, but, save in the matter of historical succession, it does not do so. The hero of this last named romance is in no sense the Taverney Maison-Rouge of the longer series.
     Maquet was again the collaborator, and found a good deal of the groundwork, or someone did, in the (spurious) "Mémoires de Madame du Barry."
     The period of the romance includes the years from the arrival of the Dauphiness Marie-Antoinette in France to the death of Louis XV. (1770-1774), and gives a thoroughly amusing and cleverly constructed picture of court intrigues and dissoluteness, and of the rumblings of the coming storm. Cagliostro—a Dumas-created Cagliostro—is a prominent character.
     It has been stated that Dumas accepted the commission for this work at a time when he was already supplying five other feuilletons for the leading Paris journals of the day. "La Presse" had promised its readers the "Mémoires de Cagliostro," but when these began to appear subscribers expostulated ; they were but the re-issue of a previous work, and the editor had been imposed upon. In a state of consternation he approached Dumas, beseeching him to get him out of the scrape. The result was this fine romance.
     It appeared then first as a serial in "La Presse," May 31, 1846 to Jan. 4, 1848.
     Original edition : Paris, Cadot, 19 vols., 8vo.. 1846-48. According to Quérard, it then consisted of two parts: "Joseph Balsamo," 5 vols., and "Andrée de Taverney," the following 14 vols.
     First illustrated edition : Paris, Dufour et Mulat, 2 vols., large 8vo., with 64 plates, 1856 (Bibliothèque Nationale).
     It fills five volumes in the standard Calmann-Lévy edition, and one in their "Musée Littéraire."
     In Le Vasseur's "Alexandre Dumas Illustré" it forms part of Vol. V.

         References :—
     Quérard: "Supercheries Littéraires Dévoilées," Vol. I., Columns 615 to 631 (article "Cagliostro") and 1110 to 1111 (article "Dumas").
     Parran: "Bibliographie d'Alexandre Dumas," page 56.
     Simon (Gustave): "Histoire d'une Collaboration : Dumas et Maquet."
     Blaze de Bury: "Alexandre Dumas," pp. 251-53.
     "Mémoires de la Comtesse du Barry."
     Funck-Brentano: "Cagliostro et Compagnie" (and in English translation).
     Troubridge: "Cagliostro;" London. Chapman and Hall, 1910.
     Haden (Dr. Marc): "Cagliostro."

         Principal English Translations :—
     "Memoirs of a Physician;" London. G. Peirce, illustrated, pp. 495, 1846. This edition consists of only the first 67 chapters, that is to say half the book. Probably no more had then been published.
     "Memoirs of a Physician;" London, Simms and Macintyre (later Hodgson). "Parlour Library," 3 vols. (later issued as two), 1847.
     "Memoirs of a Physician;" London, Routledge, 18—. This is a reprint of the previous, taken over by this firm. Frequently reissued, it is now in the "Aramis Edition."
     "Memoirs of a Physician;" London, Lea, with more than 30 woodcuts designed by J. Gilbert.
     "Memoirs of a Physician;" London, Clarke, 2 vols., 1854.
     "Memoirs of a Physician;" London, Dent, cr. 8vo., illustrated, 3 vols., 1894. Reprinted, same firm, 1906 and 1926. (The only complete issue in English.)
     A reprint of Routledge's edition, London, Collins, in 3 parts, respectively titled: "Joseph Balsamo," Chapters I. to XXXIX.; "The Countess Dubarry," Chapters XL. to LXXXIV.; "The Elixir of Life," Chapters LXXXV. to CXXXI. and Epilogue. Illustrated, 1926-28.
     "Joseph Balsamo;" London, Dicks, sewed, illustrated. (Somewhat abridged.)
     Except Dent's edition, and that of Dicks, all the above omit Chapters CXXXV.— CLXIV.

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