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Nouvelles contemporaines

collection, pub:1826

A book with three short stories:
Laurette
Blanche de Beaulieu, ou la vendéene
Marie



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    Nouvelles contemporaines


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    La couverture de Nouvelles Contemporaines


From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     Three short stories forming Dumas' first attempt at prose fiction. Encouraged by the fair success of "La Chasse et l'Amour," Dumas offered this work to several publishers, and, after their refusals, found part of the needful money himself and had it printed.
     A brochure of 216 pp., plus a table of contents, bound in grey. The title-page bears the design of a vase surmounted by a star, and with a branch of laurel and one of palm crossed and bound together before it. Above is printed "Les Nouvelles Contemporaines, par Alex. Dumas," followed by the epigraph : "Fils d'un soldat, j'aime à choisir mes héros dans les rangs de l'armée." Below the vignette appears : "Paris, Sanson, Libraire de S. A. R. Monseigneur le Duc de Montpensier, Palais Royal, Galerie de Bois, No. 250.—1826." The reverse is blank, and the next page bears the dedication : "À Ma Mère, Hommage d'amour, de respect & de reconnaissance. Alex. Dumas."
     The first story, "Laurette," was later issued in a miscellany called "La Pervenche," under the title of "Le Rendez-vous." The second, "Blanche de Beaulieu," filled the following 121 pp. Much improved, it later became "La Rose Rouge," thus appearing in "La Revue des Deux Mondes " during 1831, and in the "Salmigondis," Vol. III. Again, as "Blanche de Beaulieu," it was included in Dumas' "Souvenirs d'Antony," with the sub-title of "La Vendéenne." The third story, "Marie," was also later much improved, and appeared as "Le Cocher de Cabriolet," in "Paris, ou le Livre des Cent et Un" (1832-34), and in the "Souvenirs d'Antony," and again, unchanged, but with the title "Rose," in "Les Sensitives" in 1845.
     Of the original "Nouvelles Contemporaines," only four copies were sold, though Dumas gave some away to his friends, and then usually inscribed them. As a consequence the work has become extremely rare : there are copies at present in the possession of the British Museum, Mr. R. S. Garnett, London (from whose copy Mr. H. A. Spurr reproduced the title-page in his work on Dumas), Miss Dorothy Knott, London, M. Fossé d'Arcosse, Soissons, the Bibliothèque Nationale, and in the Reed Dumas Collection (New Zealand).

         References :
     All lives of Dumas of any completeness.
     Dumas: "Mémoires," Chapters CVI. and CCXXXI.
     Quérard: "Supercheries Littéraires Dévoilées," Vol. I., Columns 1092-1093.

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