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L' Orestie

drame/play, pub:1856

Tragedy in three acts.

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    l'Orestye, acte II, scène iv

From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     A verse tragedy in three acts.
     No one save de Mirecourt has suggested any collaborator for this piece; he says it was a "translation" by Jules de Saint-Félix, "revised" by Paul Meurice, but as usual with no evidence to support the assertion. Meurice makes no claim to it in his collected works. At the time of its appearance Dumas issued a challenge in "Le Mousquetaire" calling upon anyone to prove that a single line of this fine piece was not his. No attempt was made to take this up.
     It is, as he calls it, an imitation from the antique. He drew from Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles, but mainly from the first. He makes his lesser alterations too, but one feels that, in spite of much labour, he has been terribly hampered by his models. In particular the long choral interruptions to the narrative seem to try him. However, he himself was particularly proud of it.
     First performed at the Porte Saint Martin Theatre on the 5th of January, 1856
     Original edition : Paris, Librairie Théâtrale, large 8vo., pp. 107, 1856. Cover printed to reproduce the title-page. It carries this dedication : "Au peuple.—Alex. Dumas," and the following brief postscript: "Merci aux Artistes qui, après m'avoir fait un succès, m'ont forcé de venir recevoir les applaudissements qui leur étaient dûs.—5 Janvier 1856.—Alex. Dumas." ("Thanks to the actors who, after making a success for me, compelled me to receive the applause which was their due.—5 January, 1856.—Alex. Dumas.")
     There was a second edition, only distinguishable from the first by the words "Deuxième édition."
     Dumas published the complete text in "Le Mousquetaire" between February 1st and 24th, 1856.
     Parran quotes Otto Lorenz as mentioning an edition in 18mo. : Paris, Marchant, 1855, but expresses doubt as to its accuracy.
     It is now part of Vol. XII. in the 15 Vol. edition, and of Vol. XX. of that in 25 Vols. by Calmann-Lévy.

         References :—
     Dumas: "Le Mousquetaire," July 29th, September 5th, 1855, and January 2nd/3rd and 30th, 1856
     Parran: "Bibliographie d'Alex. Dumas," page 34.
     Glinel: "Alex. Dumas et Son Œuvre," page 437.
     Courmeaux: "Alexandre Dumas," page 30.

From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     (CCIII.) 356 choral lines interspersed among the alexandrines.

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