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Sylvandire

Beau Tancrède; The Marriage Verdict

roman/novel, pub:1843, action:1708-1716




Oeuvres/Related Works
    Courtilz de Sandras, Gatien de: Mémoires de M.L.C.D.R. (le comte de Rochefort) - Cologne, P. Marteau, 1688
    Courtilz de Sandras, Gatien de: Mémoires de madame la marquise de Fresne - Amsterdam, 1722 (authorship disputed)


Images (voyez tous/view all)
    Constance
    Tancrede and Constance
    Tancrede and Sylvandire


From Reviews (ADR) by Arthur D. Rypinski:
     Dumas probably intended this book as a comic novel, set near the end of the reign of Louis XIV, in Paris, covering the period 1706-1717. It is most interesting today because it shows Dumas' first attempt to grapple with themes and plot devices employed with greater success two years later, in the Comte de Monte Cristo.
     Tancrede, the youthful Chevalier d'Augilhelm, impoverished provincial aristocrat, is sent to Paris by his family to sue for the rights to an immense fortune left by a distant relative. He learns that he can win his case only by abandoning his true love, Constance, and by agreeing to marry a woman unknown to him.
     His new wife, Sylvandire, proves to have ambitions at court, and, when thwarted by Tancrede, arranges with an influential courtier to have Tancrede arrested and indefinitely imprisoned. Tancrede becomes #169 in the Bastille, and continually dreams of escape and revenge on his unfaithful wife and her powerful lover.
     Tancrede is eventually released and gains his revenge through clever strategems. He marries Constance, only to be confounded when Sylvandire, now wealthy, powerful, and annoyed, returns to Paris.
     Frequently very amusing, but marred by a misogynist streak and Dumas' tendency to portray women as either saints (like Constance) or monsters (like Sylvandire or Milady de Winter).

From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     Having written "Le Chevalier d'Harmental" from the short tale composed by Maquet, Dumas now collaborated with him in this romance. It would appear that Maquet and his friend discussed the plot, which the former had originated, that Dumas then entrusted the younger man with the production of a first brief sketch, that he then took it, re-wrote it, elaborating and infusing into it that airiness, wit and sprightliness which abounds, and in which it is well known Maquet was deficient,
     At the same time we must admit that Maquet was not the originator either. Skilful and indefatigable rummager among old tomes, as he was, he lighted upon Gatien de Courtilz' "Mémoires du Comte de Rochefort," and quite probably also on the same writer's "Marquise de Fresne." Here he found both the case of the litigant who was to win his suit conditionally upon marrying the unseen and unknown daughter of the judge, and also the nobleman who disposed of an unwanted wife by the novel expedient of selling her to a corsair.
     The story is of the last years of the reign of Louis XIV. and of the influence of Mme. de Maintenon (1708-16).
     In 1845 a drama was drawn from this romance by de Leuven and Vanderburch (see under 1845).
     Original edition: Bruxelles, Hauman, 2 vols., 18mo., pp. 284, 322, 1843.
     Original French edition of the romance: Paris, Dumont, 1844, 3 vols., 8vo., yellow wrapper bearing the title, pp. 318, 310, 324. In the Reed Dumas Collection is a copy of this original edition, which is dedicated to Maquet in these words: "À mon bon camarade Auguste Maquet. Souvenir de franche et sincère amitié. Par-delà-les Monts, ce 8 juillet 1842. Al. Dumas." ("To my good comrade Auguste Maquet. A memory of frank and sincere friendship. Par-delà-les Monts, July 8, 1842. Al. Dumas.") In this copy is written, below the dedication: "Et avec qui je suis toujours en procès, 1857." ("And with whom I am still at law, 1857.") Without stating definitely that this is Maquet's writing, and consequently that the copy was his, it is to be noted that the script bears a strong resemblance to some of his MSS. in the same collection; and, moreover, who else would make such a statement?
     It forms one volume in the Calmann-Lévy edition, and one in their "Musée Littéraire."
     In Le Vasseur's "Alexandre Dumas Illustré" it is in Vol. XII.

         References :—
     Parran: "Bibliographie d'Alex. Dumas," page 48.
     Quérard: "Supercheries Littéraires Dévoilées," Vol. I., Column 1103.
     Simon (Gustave): "Histoire d'une Collaboration: Dumas et Maquet."
     Gatien de Courtilz: "Mémoires de M. L. C. D. R(ochefort)."
     Gatien de Courtilz: "Mémoires de Madame la Marquise de Fresne."
     Saint-Simon: "Mémoires (1715)," for the false Persian Ambassador.
     Glinel: "Alexandre Dumas et Son Œuvre," page 385.

         English Translations :—
     "The Disputed Inheritance," somewhat abridged and with an explanatory introduction by T. Williams; Aberdeen, Clarke, 1847.
     "The Disputed Inheritance; or, the Adventures of the Chevalier d'Anguilhem;" Glasgow, Griffin, 1850.
     "Beau Tancrede; or, the Marriage Verdict;" London, Clarke, 12mo., 1861.
     "Beau Tancrede;" London, Routledge, 12mo. (187-). Numerous reprints of this edition have appeared.
     "Sylvandire;" London, Dent, cr. 8vo., pp. 444, 1897. Reprinted, same firm, 1907,1927.
     "Sylvandire," a new translation by A. Allinson; London, Methuen, 8vo., 1905, sewed.


From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     LES CHANTS DE L'EXEMPT. (CXIX.)
     These all appear in Chapter XXIII.
     First a stanza of ten lines ;
     Then one of six lines ;
     Another of seven lines ;
     And finally one of sixteen lines.

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